Christians arrested in Pakistan for eating during Ramadan
Police in Pakistan arrested two Christians for eating during the Islamic fasting season of Ramadan in the city of Silanwali on Aug. 25, reports Michael Ireland, chief correspondent, ASSIST News Service.
International Christian Concern (ICC) www.persecution.org, says that Gull Masih and Ashir Sohail were traveling to Lahore when their bus stopped at the Bismillah Hotel to let off passengers.
In a media release, ICC says that after the waiter served them tea and a snack, several policemen started to question them as to why they were desecrating Ramadan by eating during the Islamic fasting season. The two Christians told the police that since they are Christians, they are not supposed to fast during Ramadan.
ICC said: "The police then threw them in a van and took them to the Silanwali police station and registered a case against them, alleging that the Christians desecrated the Islamic fasting month. Later the police transferred the Christians to the district jail in Sargodha. Now their case is pending before a court."
Azzaq Bhatti, the father of Gull Masih and paternal uncle of Ashir Sohail, in an interview with ICC said that, "during Lent, all Muslims eat, drink and smoke publicly and neither police nor government authorities take notice of it. And none of the Muslims are arrested for desecrating Christians' Lent season."
ICC's Jonathan Racho said: "Forcing Christians to fast during the Islamic fasting month is both outrageous and a clear violation of freedom of religion. We call upon Pakistani officials to immediately release Gull and Ashir and take appropriate legal measures against police officers who detained them."
Please contact the Embassy of Pakistan in your country and politely ask the Pakistani officials to immediately release Gull and Ashir.