A 17-year-old Christian boy living in Pakistan was reportedly beaten to death by his Muslim classmates on what was just his fourth day at a new school.
According to the British Pakistani Christian Association, Sharoon Masih performed so well at his prior, predominantly Christian, school that his teachers encouraged him to aim high.
Subsequently, the British Pakistani Christian Association reports, Masih’s father – who works as a brick laborer – got enough money together to send the teen to a prestigious, private high school.
Immediately, the association reports, Masih was “isolated” by his Muslim peers due to his status as the only Christian among them.
Not only was he isolated – he was also reportedly physically abused and urged to convert to Islam.
“Sharoon and I cried every night as he described the daily torture he was subjected to,” the teen’s mother, Riaz Bibi is quoted as stating.
“He only shared details about the violence he was facing. He did not want to upset his father because he had such a caring heart for others.”
Masih’s family apparently didn’t have much time to react to reports of violence against him because just four days into his tenure at his new school, he was beaten to death.
During the incident, which took place on August 27, Masih was reportedly beaten so badly that he died right in the classroom.
“Early pupil reports suggest that the teacher overseeing the classroom ignored the brutal mauling,” reports the British Pakistani Christian Association.
One boy, a Muhammad Ahmed Rana, has reportedly already been arrested in connection with Masih’s murder.
He reportedly confessed to the crime but has yet to name the other students who were involved. Witnesses reportedly also have yet to come forward with names of the perpetrators.
“The parents of Sharoon believe the wall of silence reveals the contempt that these students have for Christians and the low value placed on their lives,” the British Pakistani Christian Association reports.
The association, which states it has paid for Masih’s funeral, further quotes the teen’s mother as stating, “my son was a kind-hearted, hard-working and affable boy. He has always been loved by teachers and pupils alike and shared great sorrow that he was being targeted by students at his new school because of his faith.”
“The evil boys that hated my child are now refusing to reveal who else was involved in his murder. Nevertheless one day God will have His judgement.”
The association also provides a statement from its chairman, Wilson Chowdhry, who said, “Christians are despised and detested in Pakistan they are a constant target for persecution. This killing of a young Christian teenager at school, serves only to remind us that hatred towards religious minorities is bred into the majority population at a young age, through cultural norms and a biased national curriculum.”
“This devastated family will have to cope with the immense emotional pain of a totally avoidable incident. It is a poor indictment of MC Model Boys Government High School that a Christian could be targeted in this fashion. However by no means is such treatment an anomaly – it is an expectation that Christians will face abuse and violence during the years in the educational system.”
To support the British Pakistani Christian Association’s effort to provide legal assistance for Masih’s family as they continue to fight for justice following their son’s death, visit this page.
If you’re not interested in donating, please consider sharing this article to shed light on the continued persecution of Christians that is happening around the world and say a prayer for those living in that region.