Thursday, July 22, 2010

Two New Martyrs in Pakistan

This in from Rev. Canon John Hollister:

The following message has been received from the Church of India, Pakistan, Burma, and Ceylon's Diocese of Lahore, Pakistan:

"Two Christians accused of blasphemy in Pakistan were killed as they left a courthouse Monday afternoon, Pastor Rashid Emmanuel and His brother Sajid Emmaniel.

"All Anglicans are requested to pray for their souls and express feelings of condolence for the parents and relatives by praying for them.

"The Archdeacon Fr. Mushtaq Andrew

Diocese of Lahore

Church of Pakistan CIPBC

2nd Province of Anglican Catholic Church"


For One Departed.

ALMIGHTY God, we remember this day before thee thy servants Rashid Emmanuel and Sajid Emmanuel, and we pray thee that, having opened to them the gates of larger life, thou wilt receive them more and more into thy joyful service; that they may win, with thee and thy servants everywhere, the eternal victory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

REST X eternal grant unto them, and let light perpetual shine upon them. May their souls, X and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

The Collect for a Martyr

(A Book of Common Prayer 361 [South Africa 1954])

O ALMIGHTY and eternal God, who didst kindle the fire of thy love in the hearts of thy holy martyrs Rashid Emmanuel and Sajid Emmanuel: Pour into our minds such power of faith and love, that as we rejoice in their triumph, we may profit by their example; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Those Who Mourn.

ALMIGHTY God, Father of mercies and giver of all comfort; Deal graciously, we pray thee, with all those who mourn, especially thy servants the families, friends, and flock of Rashid and Sajid Emmanuel, that, casting every care on thee, they may know the consolation of thy love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Anonymous said...

As I ruminate on this coming Sunday's Gospel, with its disturbing question, "Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with," I give thanks for these who were able to say with James and John, "We are able."
As I read of such things in the world of here and now, the problem of textual criticism in this text seems irrelevant indeed. As Karl Barth reminded us, sometimes the best exegesis comes not in the commentaries and theological word-books but in our daily newspapers.
Thank you, Canon Hollister.

John A. Hollister said...

A Pakistani Christian informant, who is NOT connected with the ACC's Archdeacon Andrew, provides these further details, which he must have garnered from the local press:

"Two brothers, Pastor Rashid Emmanuel, 32, and Sajid Emmanuel, 30, a graduate business student of Faisalabad, were arrested July 2. They were arraigned under Pakistan’s controversial 'blasphemy laws' on charges of writing a pamphlet containing blasphemous remarks about Muhammad (the Prophet of Islam).

"On 19 July, chained together, both brothers were produced in court by the Police, who sought a remand for further investigations. They were gunned down by masked Muslims. It was not unexpected as such things have happened many time before. This murder in broad day light in the Court, was, inter alia, a failure of police security, Government administration and the lack of a legal requirement for an investigation prior to the registration of blasphemy charges.

"It was a planned murder as three days ago, on July 16, announcements were made from some local mosques against Christians in the Waris Pura area of Faisalabad, the major Christian locality in the city. Muslims also distributed flyers calling for mass action against Christians. Before that, on 10th and 11th, Muslim mobs marched in the city demanding the death penalty for both alleged blasphemers. They stoned Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Waris Pura and burnt tires on the roads. Furthermore, they also tried to attack and burn the area where the murdered brothers’ house was located. The protesters chanted slogans, raised weapons and threatened to teach a lesson to the entire Christian community. The mob members also threatened that if the brothers were not executed according to the blasphemy laws, they would take action by themselves.

"The handwritten, photocopied pamphlet, which so enraged Muslims of the area, was distributed by unknown persons, yet the names and telephone numbers of the two brothers, Rashid and Sajid, were included in them. It is unimaginable that anyone in Pakistan would write his own name on such a pamphlet.

"The real, story is that these two brothers had a land dispute between a Muslim shopkeeper of the locality. The dispute went to the Court and these brothers won the case. The shopkeeper, knowing that in Pakistani intolerant and conservative society, the mere charge of blasphemy, however preposterous, is considered a conviction in itself, fabricated this allegation as the easiest way to get rid of these brothers and grab the disputed property.

"I would add here that both brothers were arrested without a legitimate investigation for blasphemy and NO evidence to support the charges against them emerged. The funeral of these brothers was held semi-secretly on July 20 early in the morning at 8:00AM to avoid further clashes between Christians and Muslims."

Colin Chattan said...

Thank you for this report, Fr. Hollister. How easily we fail to recognize, for all the defects of our society, how lucky/blessed we are in the West! May God bless these martyrs and their families, and forgive and bring to repentance, and justice, their murderers.

When I read accounts such as this I feel the unease and unworthiness of a civilian learning of the suffering of troops on the front-line.

Jackie said...

The shopkeeper, knowing that in Pakistani intolerant and conservative society, the mere charge of blasphemy, however preposterous, is considered a conviction in itself, fabricated this allegation as the easiest way to get rid of these brothers and grab the disputed property.

Substitute but a few words and we see that nothing has changed in a little over 2000 years. Ironic, isn't it that the sons of the Sons of Abraham reserve the most hate and violence for each other.

Sibyl said...

Two Christians, brothers, were crucified on a cross in Ivory Coast in June by Muslims. In Iraq, a Christian tribesman, Ashur Issa Yacub was kidnapped, after ransom was refused, this young husband, father, roadworker's eyes were gouged out, ears cut off, face skinned off. He was bitten by dogs, nearly decapitated. Much of the torture was done while he was still alive. His body was found May 13, 2011.
Just a couple of examples of brutality and inhumanity of Islamists.