Pakistan: Sikh Beheadings Show Dangers Minorities Face

March 2, 2010

Author: Anto Akkara

Source: Episcopal Life Online/Ecumenical News International

Christian groups in Pakistan and India have joined political and other religious leaders in deploring the recent beheading of two young Sikh men by a Taliban group in Pakistan, and have demanded security for religious minorities in the Muslim-majority nation.

"We condemn this diabolic act," said Victor Azariah, general secretary of the National Council of Churches of Pakistan, in a telephone interview with Ecumenical News International on March 1. "This is yet another instance of growing insecurity to the [religious] minorities here."

The National Commission for Justice and Peace of the Roman Catholic Church in Pakistan said, "alarm bells are ringing" following the beheading of Jaspal Singh and Mahal Singh, whose bodies were found in Bara town in the troubled North West Frontier Province bordering Afghanistan on Feb. 21.

A pro-Taliban group kidnapped the two Sikh youths along with two other young men in January in the Khyber Agency region, and demanded a ransom of 30 million Pakistani rupees (US$350,200) for the release of their captives.