South Asia

Christian families go into hiding after death threats

Sonu Arshad. Credit: Worldwatch Monitor/Facebook

Five Christian families have gone into hiding because of death threats made against 18-year-old Sonu Arshad who is charged with  alleged “blasphemy” against Islam.

The families from a remote village 200 kilometres north of Lahore fled on Friday 3 November, after a post on Facebook purporting to be that of a local TV channel urged people to “burn his church and give him the death penalty”.

Local Christian councillor Naseer Ghulam said he had “no knowledge where the family has gone.

“No-one knows the reason for accusing [Arshad] through this smear campaign,” he added.

Another Christian man, Mikhtar Masih, died while awaiting trial for blasphemy. The man from Gujranwala was accused of blaphemy in January and died on Saturday 4 November while on bail before his trial. He had moved away from Gujranwala.