Catholic leaders in Pakistan protested the beating and burning on Nov. 4 of a young Christian couple accused of desecrating the Quran. “The government has absolutely failed to protect its citizens’ right to life,” said the National Commission for Justice and Peace of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Pakistan in a statement on Nov. 5. Condemning the brutal killing of Shahzad Masih and his pregnant wife, Shama Bibi, in their mid-20s, the commission pointed out that the killing of the couple at the hands of a mob was based on a “false accusation of blasphemy.” Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif described the incident as “an unacceptable crime” in a statement on Nov. 6. “A responsible state cannot tolerate mob rule and public lynching with impunity,” he said. “I have directed the Punjab [Province] chief minister to show no mercy, and the law should take its course to punish those who are responsible for this act,” he told local media. The couple had three children.
Protest After Christian Couple Murdered