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Forced to Flee for Blasphemy: Christian Experiences in Pakistan. By Raymond Ibrahim

Front Image : Muslims destroying church in Joseph Colony, Pakistan, 2013

Editor’s note: The following account was written for by an American teacher in the Muslim world.

While in Thailand last month, I visited my friend Paul, who, with his family, was forced to flee Pakistan in 2012.  After lunch he introduced me to Stephan, another Christian who fled Pakistan with his family because of religious persecution.

Like Paul, Stephan was the envy of Muslims because of his success (he was a fabric designer).  Interestingly, his colleagues were not the ones who were jealous.  The workers in the nearby factories envied him. The lack of jealousy from his co-workers can be explained by the fact that his employer, Ali, was a Muslim in name only and weeded out Muslim fanatics from his firm.

Stephan’s problems began a few days after the destruction of the Joseph Christian Colony in the city of Lahore in May 2013.  He was lunching in a restaurant near his workplace thinking of the treatment of Christians at the hands of Muslims in Pakistan.  For as long as he could remember, Christians in Pakistan have been insulted, beaten, and killed because of their religious beliefs.

As Stephan was finishing his meal, Abdul, a worker from another factory who disliked Stephan for being a successful Christian, entered the restaurant and insulted him for his Christian beliefs and joked about how the destruction of the Joseph Christian Colony would benefit Muslims.  To avoid problems, Stephan swallowed his pride and returned to his workplace.

A few days later, Stephan was again confronted by Abdul.   This time, Abdul, who was with three other men, ordered Stephan to convert to Islam. They warned him that if he rejected Islam once more, they would do everything in their power to make his life a living hell.

For Stephan, this was the last straw.  Their arrogance in ordering him to convert to Islam added to the years of being insulted for his beliefs pushed him over the line.  He shouted:

Don’t try to convert me again! You have crossed the line today! Islam harasses and terrorizes non-Muslims until they convert!  You are religious fanatics!

Abdul and his three acolytes then accused Stephan of blasphemy and started to beat him. Two of Stephan’s co-workers, who were also lunching at the restaurant, came to his aid and brought him back to the factory.  When Ali heard of the incident, he sent Stephan home in his personal car and warned him to keep a low profile until things calmed down.

The next day, hundreds of Muslims from other firms were protesting in front of Ali’s factory.  They threatened to kill him and burn down his business if Stephan wasn’t immediately turned over to them.  To save himself, Ali told the crowd that Stephan wasn’t in the factory because he had been fired the previous day for blasphemy.  Ali then called Stephan to warn him about the gravity of the situation.

That evening, a Muslim mob gathered around Stephan’s home and shouted,

Bring Stephan out, the infidel, the blasphemer, we want to kill him.

When gunshots were fired, Stephan’s Christian neighbors intervened and the Muslim mob disbanded. Stephan then went to the police, but they refused to help because they couldn’t care less if a Christian was killed, and the few police officers who would be willing to help were too afraid to act.  As Stephan explained, Muslim police officers who try to bring Muslims to justice for raping Christian women or killing Christians  are themselves  beaten and killed for aiding the infidel.

After leaving the police station, Stephan fled with his family to an aunt’s house in the countryside.  A few days later, he received a phone call from a friend warning him that a Muslim mob was heading his way to kill him.  As he was fleeing to a new location, Stephan knew that his life in Pakistan was over.

A few months later, Stephan arrived in Thailand with his wife and two children and they have been living as refugees since.  Sadly, many of their relatives in Pakistan are presently in hiding.  Not able to get their hands on Stephan, his relatives were targeted by those who wished to kill him.  To make matters worse, their names are now on Pakistan’s EXIT LIST, meaning they can’t legally leave the country.

As I was getting ready to leave, Stephan asked,

Why is it easier for Pakistani Muslims to obtain visas to the USA than it is for Pakistani Christians?

His question is one that we should all ask ourselves.  For decades, western countries have welcomed millions of Muslims who reject our values and are even bent on destroying our culture.   Isn’t it time that we change our immigration policies and welcome immigrants who do not seek to destroy us, but who will embrace our way of life?

Author’s note: The names of the individuals in this article were changed to protect their relatives who remain in Pakistan.

Raymond Ibrahim on September 16, 2014 in Muslim Persecution of Christians

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