In Hyderabad, Pakistan, the Salvation Army Church celebrated its thirty-year presence in the Hurr Camp community. The Christian residents gathered for the special occasion while nearby, Muslim youths of the Palari tribe watched and made fun of passing women. They played loud music, which eventually interrupted the service. Younis Masih, Jameel Masih, and two other men approached the youths and asked them to stop to respect the sanctity of the church and the women.
However, the situation escalated, and the Muslim youths left in frustration. When the Christian worshippers were leaving the church after the service, the Muslim youths returned with handguns, targeting the four men who had confronted them earlier. Shots rang out, and the Masihs were killed instantly, while the other two men were seriously injured.
Pakistan is notorious for its harsh blasphemy laws that are often abused, making it one of the most dangerous places for Christians. Christians live under constant threat due to the slightest perceived offence against Islam. The Masihs and their friends were killed for trying to settle a dispute peacefully. Their deaths left behind widows, orphans, and grieving families.
However, the Masihs’ lives serve as a testament to the love and peace of Christ, which threatens those who walk the path of hate and violence. They celebrated the goodness of God openly and fearlessly, trusting Him to bring transformation to their country and people. Their sacrifice is a reflection of Romans 12:17-18, which calls on us to do what is honourable and live peaceably with all. The Masihs’ sacrifice will serve as an example and pave the way for love and peace in Pakistan.