Pakistan: Christian murdered after row over religion

A 45-year-old Christian was reportedly shot dead in Pakistan following a heated argument with a local Muslim over religion.

Fides news agency reports that Roshan Masih rowed with Sohail Akhtar just days before the incident last Saturday in Lahore, Punjab Province.

It is feared that Masih's defence of the Christian faith was taken to be blasphemous and prompted the killing.

The Legal Evangelical Association Development (LEAD) reported the murder to local police, naming Akhtar as the perpetrator.

Akhtar was subsequently arrested and detained by local police, who have launched an investigation.

Sardar Mushtaq Gill, of LEAD, told Fides: "This is truly a tragedy. An innocent man is slain for defending his faith in a simple argument.

"The episode is emblematic of the conditions of Pakistani Christians.

"The authorities have a duty to guarantee the basic rights of Christian minorities."