A Pastor facing life threats by the extremists

Pastor Shahzada Maheer Shalal s/o Saleem Lazarus Gill, DOB 12-05-1991 a pastor of The Pentecost Church worked in brick kiln factories in Lahore and Kasur to share the word of God among the people (bounded labors). He was a blessing to the workers who are illiterate and could not read the bible themselves. A month later, Pastor Shahzada Maheer started basic education of the children along with the weekly worship among the workers at the brick factory. These illiterate brick workers were growing spiritually by listening the GOD’S WORD and they received God’s blessings and healing from different diseases too, the Christian faith got fame in the area and became an inspiration for the people of other belief and faith that they started to come to the church to attend prayer meetings for their healings.

The brick factory owner named Haji Riasat Ali got the word that Muslim community getting interested in the Christian prayers and belief. He informed local cleric Molvi Abdullah and Alama Muhammad Bilal Hussain residents of Paki Haveli, district Kasur about the matter and showed concern and graveness. The Molvi become aggressive and together with other Mula’s made a plan against Pastor Shahzada Maheer who was unaware of these things and he came to the bricks factory for prayer meeting among the brick workers in routine on Friday, January 4, 2019. He was busy in worship among the factory workers and the same time Molvi Abdullah among a group of Islamic extremists attacked Pastor Shahzada Maheer with the deadly weapons as they wanted to kill him. They have been calling the names of Christians and chanting slogans to kill Pastor Shahzada Maheer and instigated people to burn him alive in the Furnace like a Christian couple Shama and Shahzad burned in the brick kiln at Kot Radha Kishan Kasur in November 2013 after they were accused of blasphemy.

They began beating Pastor Shahzada Maheer with wooden roads and repeatedly shouted, “Burn this infidel pastor alive in the furnace. Meanwhile the factory workers intervened and they saved pastor from the Muslim extremists and helped him to escape. One of the workers took the Pastor to the hospital immediately by Motorbike for the first aid after severe beating. The same evening at about 10pm Pastor Shahzada Maheer received a telephone call by a laborer of the same bricks factory where the incident occurred. He informed that the laborers also have been beaten up severely for saving Pastor’s life.

The same evening on January 04, 2019 Molvi Abdullah, Muhammad Bilal Hussain along with Haji Riasat Ali went to the concerned police station Mustafa Abad to lodge a case as they falsely accused Pastor Shahzada Maheer for blasphemy.

It was a big threat to the wellbeing of the Pastor Shahzada Maheer Shalal that he could be arrested by the police therefore he fled for safety along with his family including his mother, sister, wife and a daughter aged six months. Pastor Shahzada Maheer Shalal traveled to Quetta for the resettlement to ensure the wellbeing and safety of his family. He brings the matter to the notice of a senior Pastor Victor John at the Pentecost Church Lahore who suggested Pastor Shahzada for keeping hide otherwise his life was on a great risk. It was a fear that after the arrest of Pastor Shahzada Maheer in the fake blasphemy allegation, will suffer a lot as there is no chance to defend him in the police station because of the matter of Islamic religion. It was also apprehension that Pastor Shahzada Maheer could be murdered in the police custody by the extremists as there are many incidents of extra Judicial killings when the blasphemy victims has been killed not only in the police lockup but also attacked and murdered in the Judicial lockup and in the Courts as well.

Muhammad Bilal Hussain issued a fatwa against Pastor Shahzada Maheer through Molvi Abdullah, saying that he is an arrogant and must be killed wherever he found, he tried to instigate the mob in the Friday prayer on January 11, 2019. After prayers, Islamic extremists attacked Pastor’s residence place and caused a lot of vandalism and rioting and the police declared him a fugitive in the case 295c.

Pastor Victor John arranged finance for the safe escape of Pastor Shahzada Maheer from Pakistan for his life safety. Presently he is seeking asylum in France.

He has been suffering a lot throughout till now and endured exile and the aggrieved family still hiding in Pakistan.