Christians in Essa Nagri continue to suffer
The attacks which started last month continue in the Christian colony of Essa Ngari (Karachi-Pakistan). So far four Christians, Yousaf Masih, Faisal Masih, Nasir Masih and Rafi Masih have been killed by the extremists. Essa Nagri, is a densely populated neighborhood, home to some 50,000 Christians, living in conditions of extreme poverty and lacking basic facilities.
On 15th September a group of Muslims on motorbikes entered the colony threatening the residents, asking for collection of the "Jizya" (the Islamic tax imposed on non-Muslim minorities in the Muslim conquered states). In a fight the extremists killed two Christian men of the area and wounded two others.
According to Fr. Victor, "the faithful, to protect themselves, decided to build a wall and close an entrance of Essa Nagri, the one facing the Muslim area, home to the Pashtun and Baluchi groups. Now Essa Nagri is a ghetto, with a single access door." Christians, victims of ongoing violence, also organized an internal security service, to try to prevent further attacks from destroying
When Christians came out to protest the Karachi police opened fire injuring Pastor Cornelius who was admitted to hospital in a critical condition.
A police bullet hit his spinal cord as he crossed the road to enter Essa Nagri. The police instead of providing protection to Christians and arresting the Muslim mob fired tear gas shells and live rounds which hit Pastor Cornelius and injured many other Christian protestors. The police arrested more than a dozen Christians who protested against the Muslim mob attack.
The situation in Essa Nagri is still tense from weeks when some Pushtun were entering and collecting “Batta” illegal tax from Christian shopkeepers. Pushtu speaking armed intruders fired on homes of Christians to threaten them on late payments of illegal tax which was duly reported in PIB Colony Police Station but no action was taken against Muslim militants.
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