On way to mosque prayers, Muslim youth attack, burn young Christian

Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Michael F. Haverluck (OneNewsNow.com)

A 14-year-old Christian boy was beaten and set on fire after being asked his religious affiliation by two Muslim youth who were on their way to Friday prayers at their local mosque in Lahore, Pakistan.

A Closer LookSustaining burns over 55 percent of his body, the Christian boy — who is only referred to as "Nuaman" for security purposes — is receiving treatment at Meo Hospital in Punjab province's largest city of more than 14 million people, according to The Voice Society, a Christian organization in Pakistan.

Kill the infidel

While returning from a tailor's shop, Nuaman was attacked by two unidentified Muslim youth who approached him to ask what religion he practiced, the The Christian Post reports. The young Islamic militants spotted Nuaman while on their way to a prayer gathering at a mosque in Pakistan's second largest city.

The Christian teen was unable to escape his attackers in the streets of Lahore and feels fortunate to still be alive today.

"I told them that I am Christian," Nuaman recounted. "They started beating me … when I tried running, both boys started following me through the street and then they threw kerosene on me and burnt me."

Shortly after being set on fire by his Muslim attackers, Nuaman was assisted by community members and lost consciousness.

"I kept on running when a heap of sand came my way … I lied down on the sand," Nuaman continued. "[A] few people from the community [extinguished the] fire by putting sand on me. I became unconscious, and they called [the] 1122 emergency medical helpline and called an ambulance."

Even though the victim claims that he doesn't personally know his attackers, he insists that he would be able to recognize them if he saw their faces again.

Nuaman lost his father when he was four years old and currently lives with his paternal uncle, as his mother remarried after his father's death.

Religious wars?

The Voice Society suggests that Nuaman's attack is retaliation against a Christian-Muslim conflict in the city, where it is reported that a number of Christians lynched two militant Muslims who were accused of a deadly attack on a church in Lahore.

On March 15, Christ Church and the Catholic Church of Youhanabad Christian Colony were reportedly struck by two separate suicide blasts that killed 17 Christians and wounded 80 others. Following the jihadist attacks, a Pakistani-based militant Islamic group with ties to the Taliban claimed to be behind the twin suicide bombings.

In response to the attacks, thousands of Christians took to the streets of Lahore, rioting in protest against the religious persecution and demanding that the government provide them with more protection from the jihadists.

With news reports indicating that two of the suspected Islamic terrorists were fatally beaten and burned during the riots, it is believed that Nuaman was the victim of a copycat attack. Accounts of the incident reveal that Christian protesters severely beat the suspected Muslim terrorists, bound them with ropes and set them ablaze while they were being transferred to a vehicle under custody.

The Christian group asserts that the riots have escalated Muslim hatred toward the Christian minority throughout the densely populated city — in a country where more than 97 percent of its 200 million people adhere to Islam.

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