A Pakistani pastor, Pastor Eliezer Sidhu (Vicky), was arrested by the Faisalabad Police on September 12, 2023, for allegedly fabricating a gunshot incident. Pastor Vicky had been serving at the Presbyterian Church in Rehmat Town, Satyana Road, Faisalabad.
On the evening of September 3, supporters of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan allegedly shot Pastor Vicky after he refused to recite the Islamic Kalam. He received immediate medical treatment and was taken to the hospital. Read More about this incident
According to the police, he did this deliberately to attract international attention and seek asylum in Western countries. The police further stated that Pastor Eliezer (Vicky) himself had been involved in creating Islamic graffiti on the walls of his church, and they have the evidence to prove it. The police also arrested Pastor Eliezer’s close associates, seizing their mobile devices for further investigation.
Christian Persecution in Pakistan
Christian persecution is a harsh reality in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, where marginalized communities like the Christians often face severe religious discrimination, making religious freedom and human rights elusive.
While our team members met with the Pastor’s family in Faisalabad, they strongly asserted that the charges against Pastor Eliezer were baseless and fabricated by the police. According to them, they have evidence to support their claims. The family also alleges that there is significant pressure on Eliezer to withdraw his case, and many pastors and church leaders are facing pressure from the police administration not to support Eliezer or else they will face the consequences.
This case garnered international attention in the first week of September, leading to widespread criticism of Pakistan for its growing religious persecution issues around the world. It’s important to consider the possibility that the Government of Pakistan may be attempting to conceal the true nature of this incident by placing blame on the Pastor.
In other cases of religious persecution or human rights violations, people have observed such actions. Conducting a thorough and impartial investigation is essential to uncover the facts and ensure justice in this situation. International scrutiny and advocacy can also play a crucial role in shedding light on such cases and promoting transparency and accountability.
Religious Persecution in Pakistan
It’s worth noting that the Punjab Police chief attributed the Jaranwala incident to India, suggesting it was part of foreign conspiracies. Every year, perpetrators abduct and forcibly convert approximately 1000 girls to Islam, inflicting immense suffering on their families. They then subject the parents to pressure, warning them of dire consequences if they try to retrieve their daughters.
This is not the first time that Pakistani authorities have wrongfully accused Christians who are already enduring oppression. Pakistan has become a nightmarish place for Christians, where incidents like forced conversions and discrimination against religious minorities continue to persist.
Every year, perpetrators abduct and forcibly convert approximately 1000 girls to Islam, inflicting immense suffering on their families. They then subject the parents to pressure, warning them of dire consequences if they try to retrieve their daughters.
Support for Persecuted Christians
This is indeed a time for the world to unite in support of the Christian community in Pakistan, who are confronting significant challenges in their daily lives. Solidarity and international attention can help raise awareness about the issues of religious persecution and discrimination faced by Christians in Pakistan. By standing together, the global community can work towards promoting religious freedom, human rights, and tolerance for all, regardless of their faith, and contribute to a more inclusive and just society. Providing legal aid, humanitarian assistance, and advocating for social justice are crucial steps in addressing these pressing concerns.