A 14 year old Pakistani Christian boy has died five days after being set on fire by two Muslim men, doctors and family have revealed.
Last week, Christian group The Voice Society reported that Nauman Masih was coming from a tailor's shop in Lahore, the provincial capital of Punjab, when he was attacked by the two young Muslim men. The men, who were going for Friday prayers to their mosque, reportedly stopped Nauman and asked what his religion was.
"I told them that I am Christian. 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," Nuaman was quoted as saying. "I kept on running when a heap of sand came my way, I lied down on the sand ... [A] few people from the community ... [extinguished] fire by putting sand on me. I became unconscious, and they called 1122 Emergency medical helpline and called [for] an ambulance."
Nuaman was hospitalized with more than fifty percent of his body covered in severe burns. Sadly, on Wednesday, the boy died from his injuries, UCANews has confirmed. Because his attackers were able to flee the scene unidentified, the actual perpetrators of the attack are unknown.
As previously reported by the Gospel Herald, the teen had been living with his paternal uncle, Nadeem Masih, as his father died when he was just four years old.
On Wednesday, Nadeem tearfully explained that he has called on authorities to track down his nephew's killers.
"I appeal to the Punjab government and Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to ensure the killers are brought to justice," Nadeem said, explaining that he had raised Nauman like his own son. "We have registered a police complaint."
This kind of horrific situation is becoming far more common in Pakistan, where hatred against Christians has reached unprecedented levels despite Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's repeated promises to protect believers, who make up just 2% of the country's population.
In November, a Christian couple, Shama and Shahzad, were tortured by a Muslim mob and burnt alive in a brick kiln furnace after being falsely accused of desecrating the Quran.
Then, in March, 15 people were killed in two simultaneous attacks on churches in a Christian area of the city of Lahore. A Pakistani Taliban splinter group has since claimed responsibility for the attack, which left another 80 people injured.
"All these incidents are honestly just the tip of the iceberg of discrimination and persecution that religious minorities endure - from indentured servitude, forced conversions to kidnapping for ransom," ICC President Jeff King told the Christian Post in a recent interview. "The list of grievances is endless and it is inflicted on Pakistan's religious minorities."
Joseph Francis, national director of the Center for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS), has also condemned the attacks.
"The killing of Nauman has further increased a prevalent sense of insecurity among Christians who are yet to recover from the twin suicide attacks on churches in Lahore," he said.