Pakistani Christian dies from burn injuries


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A Pakistani Christian who was set alight last week for refusing to convert to Islam died in a hospital on Tuesday night. Pakistan's Catholic Bishops Conference has condemned the attack, in which the man's wife was raped.

Asia News reports that a group of Islamic extremists set fire to Arshed Masih, 38, a driver employed by a wealthy Muslim businessman in Rawalpindi. His wife worked as a maid in the same estate, situated in front of a police station. She was raped when she tried to get help from the police, the report said.

The attack was believed to have been provoked by recent disagreements between the couple and their employer, Sheikh Mohammad Sultan, who wanted them to convert to Islam. The couple had refused to comply.

The couple's three children, aged 7 to 12, were forced to witness the torture, the report adds.

Pakistan's Catholic Bishops Conference have condemned this and other recent incidents of violence against Christians, Fides reports.

"We ask the government for justice and legality, so that such acts do not go unpunished. We demand that the rights of Christians are respected, as they should be for all other citizens," Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha of Lahore, President of the Bishops' Conference was cited saying.