By Xavier P. William, BosNewsLife Special Correspondent reporting from Pakistan
FAISALABAD, PAKISTAN (BosNewsLife)– Suspected Muslim militants shot and killed two Christian evangelists who were due to appear in court on charges of blasphemy against Islam in Pakistan’s Punjab province, trial observers conifirmed Monday, July 19.
Brothers Sajid Emmanuel, 30, and Rashid Emmanuel, 32, were assassinated by masked gun men Monday, July 19, at a district court building in the city of Faisalabad, before the men could enter a trial room, said witness Khalid Gill, a Christian legislator in the Punjab Assembly.
He told BosNewsLife that Sajid Emmanuel died on the spot while Rashid Emmanuel passed away while being rushed to an awaiting ambulance.
The gunmen reportedly managed to escape. Gill said at least five attackers were involved in the shooting.
The Christian men had been accused by Muslims of blasphemy, but Christian rights group following Monday’s trial said they were innocent.
Several Christians have been detained in Pakistan on charges of blasphemy, but critics claim the legislation has been misused to settle personal disputes, for instance over land or money.
Rights group have urged the Pakistani government to annul the blasphemy legislation. Christians comprise less than five percent of Pakistan’s mainly Muslim population of over 177 million people, according to estimates by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Also read: BREAKING NEWS: Gun Battles Rock Pakistan City After Militants Kill Christians (Exclusive)
BREAKING NEWS: Murdered Christian Men Quickly Buried After Gunfire (Exclusive)
I AM A DEVOUT CHRISTIAN LIVING IN BRISBANE AUSTRALIA, TODAY IS A VERY SAD DAY FOR US ALL CHRISTIANS.
I WOULD LIKE TO SEND ALL MY PRAYERS AND CONDOLENCES TO THE AFFECTED FAMILIES OF THIS NASTY TRAGIC EVENT THAT TOOK THE LIVES OF SAJID EMANUEL AND RASHID EMANUEL.
CHRISTIANS IN PAKISTAN ARE REALLY BADLY AFFECTED IN THEIR DAY TO DAY LIVES AND ON BEHALF OF MY FELLOW CHRISTIAN FAMILY THAT IS SUFFERING THE LOSS OF THEIR
SONS, I PRAY THAT THE LORD WILL COMPENSATE YOU WITH HIS COMFORT AND GIVE YOU HEALING.
In this dark hour I am with you in your hurt and suffering.
From Anthony Plakias
Brisbane Qld Australia