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Pakistan minorities champion shot: Jameel Sawan 2011

Testimonies

Pakistan minorities champion shot: Jameel Sawan 2011

Jameel was shot dead in Karachi on 16 November 2011 in a suspected Islamist attack. A leading figure in the Christian community in Karachi, Pakistan, he was also a champion of minority rights.

Jameel had a shop in the city but spent a lot of his time preaching, pastoring Christians and sharing the Gospel with Muslims. He was also a close aide to Saleem Khursheed Khokhar, chairman of the Standing Committee on Minorities Affairs in the Sindh Assembly and president of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance in Sindh. Both men had received death threats from Muslim extremists because of their involvement in campaigning for minority rights and support for policies initiated by assassinated Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti.

A two-minute silence, instigated by Mr Khokhar, was held at the Sindh Assembly for Jameel and three Hindu doctors who had been killed in Shikarpur a few days earlier. Jameel left a wife, two sons and three daughters.

Christians are a despised minority in Pakistan; they suffer widespread social and legal discrimination, as well as violence from Muslim extremists.

When I tread the verge of Jordan,

bid my anxious fears subside;

death of death and hell’s destruction,

land me safe on Canaan’s side.

Songs of praises, songs of praises,

I will ever give to thee.

William Williams (1717-91)

Originally published in Heroes of Our Faith by Patrick Sookhdeo (Isaac Publishing).