A Christian teacher in Pakistan, who was appointed as the headmaster of a small primary school in Kasur, was attacked by his fellow teachers, who were described as Islamist extremists outraged at the prospect of having to work under a Christian and submit to his authority.
The teachers had tried to intimidate the headmaster, Saddique Azam, into resigning but Azam refused. Three of the teachers decided to take matters into their own hands. They broke into Azam’s office, sat on his desk and waited for him to arrive. After a final demand for his resignation was refused, they attacked.
Azam sustained injuries from the attack for which he was hospitalized but was saved from being killed by the rest of the teachers who intervened and also called the police.
“Christians in Pakistan continue to suffer discrimination because of their faith and the existence of laws that legitimize discrimination”said Sardar Mushtaq Gill, a lawyer for the Angenzi Fides, the Pontifical Mission Society, which offers free legal assistance to Christian victims of abuse and violence.
Christians commonly face persecution across Southeast Asia. In Bangladesh, suspected Islamists attacked a Christian priest in Dhaka, Bangladesh after entering his house pretending to want to learn more about Christianity. The attackers, who tried to slit Pastor Luke Sarker’s throat, were most likely scared off by neighbors who rushed to help when they heard the pastor’s screams.
The pastor, 52, sustained injuries. The attack took place after two foreigners were killed in Bangladesh, incidents that caused international outrage: Japanese businessman Hosi Koniyo was shot last week, just five days after an Italian aid worker Cesare Tavella was killed.
Security has been ramped up to unprecedented levels in Dhaka’s diplomatic and market areas where foreigners reside.