35 Christians held hostage by militants in Pakistan

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EFI Press Release

At the backdrop of growing US pressure against the terrorist forces in Pakistan, not less than 35 Christians were held hostage by militants in Peshawar on June 21, 2008.

The extremists, who were heavily armed and came in 12 vehicles, entered a house in Banarasabad, Peshawar, Pakistan, where Christian families were worshipping. The gunmen threatened them to stop praying and then held them captive. They disappeared in the Khyber area taking with them about 35 Christians including women and children.

After the intervention of the Govt. agencies around 16 Christians have been released by the militants. The authorities have strictly restricted the released hostages from passing any information about their ordeal to anyone.

Zulfiqar Masehi, Hameed Mashi, Shehzad Noor Mashi, Victor Jan Mashi, Gulzaar Mashi, Khalid Mashi, Shahbaz Mashi, Tariq Mashi, Yousaf Mashi, Salim Mashi, Khalid, Salim Akhar were among the kidnapped Christians released by the efforts of political administration.

The Evangelical Fellowship of India is deeply concerned about this incident and urges the people and the authorities in Pakistan to take appropriate measures to create a safe and secure atmosphere for the Christian community in the country.

EFI also requests prayers for the release of the remaining hostages and that the crisis would be resolved peacefully.

Rev. Dr. Richard Howell,
General Secretary,
Evangelical Fellowship of India,
New Delhi, India

Evangelical Fellowship of India (established 1951) is a charter member of World Evangelical Alliance, an accredited NGO with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.