Pakistan: pastor arrested over blasphemy accusation

A Pakistani pastor was arrested and accused of blasphemy after police took him into protective custody when a Muslim mob attacked his home.

Two days after the October 13 arrest, a First Information Report was filed against Pastor Karma Patras.

According to a story from International Christian Voice (ICV), Patras was praying in the house of a Christian family when some people asked questions about the meaning of the Muslim feast of sacrifice Eid -al- Adha, and its meaning and legitimacy for Christians.

ICV said Patras answered their questions from a Biblical perspective, and said the feast was forbidden for Christians. However, Muslims were also listening to his explanation. They gathered other Muslims and told them what the pastor had said.

According to ICV, when Patras went home after the prayer meeting, he heard appeals on mosque loudspeakers by area Muslim clerics calling for Muslims to punish him for prohibiting the celebration of this feast for Christians.

Area imams reportedly said the pastor was an infidel and should be killed, at which point hundreds of Muslims attacked Patras' house.
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ICV said area police rushed to the scene and saved Patras from the mob that was beating and kicking him and destroying his house. However, under pressure from the crowd, authorities arrested the pastor for blasphemy.

The All Pakistan Minorities Alliance is now involved in the case.

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