Sunil George Murder And The Plight of Christian Families

Farrukh Saif

February 15, 2024

Christian Persecution in Pakistan - Sunil George

Sunil George, 14, was murdered on the 5th of February 2024 in Gujranwala, Punjab, Pakistan. After our team received information about the case, they visited the family in Gujranwala, Punjab, Pakistan.

Family: The background of the incident:

While gathering information, the team learned about the primary cause behind the incident. Sunil’s family revealed that in July 2023, some Muslim boys harassed Christian girls during a marriage ceremony. This led to a religious dispute as the Muslim boys targeted the Awami Presbyterian Church, damaging cameras. The Christian community reported the incident to the police, accusing five Muslim boys. However, the matter was resolved through the Panchayati system (reconciliation committee). Despite the resolution, these boys harbored revenge and engaged in another altercation the day after the incident, which was again resolved within the Church through the intervention of religious leaders.

Zaman Butt, the 26-year-old perpetrator, operated a milk shop near Sunil’s house. Following the July dispute, Christian girls and women complained of Zaman’s harassment, leading the entire Christian community to boycott his shop. This loss and insult prompted Zaman to recruit other Muslim boys, intensifying harassment against the Christian community. Sunil and fellow Christian boys consistently tried to prevent these unfair acts, further escalating tensions. Eventually, the Muslim boys resorted to violence, resulting in the murder of Christian boys, with Sunil losing his life during the attack.

The family resides in the area, continuing the legacy established by their forefathers among 400-500 Christian families. They hold membership in the Presbyterian Church, led by Pastor Shakil Masih. Sunil’s father, George Masih earns a living through daily wage work at an auto workshop, while his mother, Gladys, works as a house helper. The couple has two sons, Sameer, aged 16, and Buoy, aged 7, both attending school. Sunil, an intelligent 8th-grade student, studied at a Government High School in Mandiala Warraich.

Tragically, the incident occurred while Sunil’s parents were at work. Upon their return, they discovered their son’s lifeless body, a heart-wrenching experience that left them profoundly affected.

Sunil’s mother expressed, “My martyred son is alive in so many hearts because he lost his life for his religion and the Christian community.”

His grandparents conveyed their grief, stating, “It is our time to leave this temporary world, but our young grandson leaves us alone in grief.”

Emergency Committee to Save the Persecuted and Enslaved (ECSPE) aimed and mission is to assist persecuted and marginalized Christians who are suffering due to their belief in Jesus Christ. In the case of Sunil, Not only is his family facing harassment and threats, but also the whole Christian community living in the Mandiala Warraich, Gujranwala, Pakistan, since July 2023.

After that, our team also visited the special initiative police station Cantt and met with the investigation officer (IO) sub-inspector Safdar Hussain and Sunil’s paternal uncles. The family members said the police cooperate, but the culprits have not been arrested yet. According to the police, the culprits’ mobiles are on track, and police are also raiding the culprits’ relatives’ homes.

According to the IO, five culprits escaped from the crime scene and are still at large. The police are raiding and will arrest them soon. Two of them have applied for their pre-arrest bail; the lawyer will appear in the court of Yalmaz Ghani, Additional Sessions Judge Gujranwala, to cancel their bail. The death certificate and post-mortem examination report were collected from IO. We request you to keep the family in your prayers.

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Farrukh Saif

Farrukh H. Saif, a courageous Christian human rights activist, established the Farrukh Saif Foundation in 2009 to confront religious discrimination, blasphemy laws, and bonded slavery in Pakistan. His dedication to liberating bonded laborers from brick kilns and advocating for blasphemy victims and asylum seekers has garnered international acclaim. Despite encountering threats and fatwas, his impactful work persists in supporting marginalized communities. In 2018, the foundation merged with The Emergency Committee to Save the Persecuted and Enslaved, enhancing its global outreach.

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