Catholic student tortured to death in Pakistan for refusing to deny faith in Christ

.- Javed Anjum, a 19-year-old Catholic student from Quetta in Pakistan died from torture wounds inflicted by Muslim extremists in Faisalabad on May 2.

The news, reported by “Aid to the Church in Need,” was confirmed by Bishop Joseph Coutts who presided at Javed’s funeral on May 3, after having seen the 26 wound marks on his body.

“Please pray for the breaved family of Javed and also for us as we take up this struggle for justice. We have a new martyr. Sad as we are, Javed’s strong faith and his blood, like that of all martyrs, will strengthen us,” said Bishop Coutts.

The bishop also appealed to local Catholics not to stage violent protests or strikes as the case is being legally prosecuted. He was also quick to point out that many Muslims have condemned the murder and have expressed their solidarity with the Catholic population.

According to Bishop Coutts, on April 16, while Javed Anjum was with his family visiting relatives in the district of Toba Tek Singh, he stopped by a mosque to drink some water from a tap and subsequently disappeared.  Five days later, he was brought to the police station by some men who belonged to the Madrassah, a Quaran school, which was nearby the mosque, claiming that he was caught trying to steal a water-pump. The police, seeing that he had been badly beaten and was only barely conscious, immediately sent him to the nearby hospital. In the hospital, “before losing consciousness,” said the bishop, “Javed stated that his torturers were forcing him to recite the “kalma”, the brief one-line Muslim credo. The recitation of the kalma is sufficient to make a person officially a Muslim. Javed refused. He died a Christian.”


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