08/26/2019 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – On August 20, around 30 Christian families living in the Kachi Abadi area of Faisalabad, Pakistan were reportedly threatened with forced displacement by a group of influential politicians. The threats of forced displacement have left the community feeling victimized and treated like second class citizens.
Maqbool Masih, a Christian resident of Kachi Abadi, told International Christian Concern (ICC), “A number of armed men forcefully entered into the Christians’ homes on August 20. They told the Christians to vacate their homes or they will have to face the consequences.”
According to Masih, there are 30 Christian families who have been living in Kachi Abadi for over 100 years. Some families can trace their residency in Kachi Abadi back to British rule and say they have been living in the location for four generations.
“We have the legal right to stay here,” Masih explained. “However, these threats have left us feeling victimized and like second class citizens.”
According to local sources, Rana Asad Mehmood and Rana Izat Mehmood, two Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) politicians, are using their influence to displace the Christians and take control of Kachi Abadi. Sources claim that the politicians want to expand their existing housing development called “Mid Town” into Kachi Abad. To this end, vital services, including water, to Kachi Abadi have been cut off and sewer lines have been blocked causing high levels of pollution.
“We will never give up to them,” Masih told ICC. “We will approach and appeal to the court to ensure safety and security for our properties.”
Discrimination against Christians in Pakistan is both severe and widespread. In many sections of daily life, Christians are treated as second class citizens because of their religious identity. This discrimination is often a determining factor in the jobs Christians can hold as well as the representation they received in government.