The home of a Christian family was reduced to ashes when a mob torched it on 10 September. The radicals reportedly also tried to burn alive the Christian family inside the house.
Christian Boota Masih, 38, who lives in Islamabad, says the alleged perpetrators were after his land and his house. Despite there being eyewitnesses to the crime, local police are reluctant to move forward.
Boota Masih said a group of men and women came to his house, banged at the door and demanded that he come out.
“I was terror stricken; the mob was threatening to kill me and my family,” he said. “They had weapons in their hands and started to brandish them before me. I thought they would kill all of us. I refused to leave my home. I had paid for it fairly, and they had no right to ask me to leave.”
When Boota Masih refused to come out, the mob began beating him with iron rods and wooden sticks. In addition, some of the group locked the family inside a room and set it on fire.
He said, “I broke the door down using all my strength, desperate to live and to save my family. Soon other local Christians came to rescue us. They put out the flames and called the fire department.”
A few months ago, Boota Masih and his wife and six children had moved to the house after he purchased it for one million rupees (about $9,580). It is speculated that the wife of the man from whom Boota Masih purchased the house instigated the attack.
Local Christians testify to Boota Masih’s character, saying he has lived in the area for decades. He is well regarded. He makes an income by selling fruit in a local market while his wife works in a school.
The attack has left the family of Boota Masih terrified, and area Christians fearful.
Sources: Assist News Service, International Christian Voice