The mob surrounded the house as the couple hid behind a locked door. It was not strong enough to protect them. The bolts broke and the young couple was beaten because they had burned some paper with Arabic words that some thought came from the Qur’an. They were barely alive when they were then dragged to a brick kiln, where they were burned to death. The angel from Daniel’s fiery furnace did not appear to those gazing in, they did not emerge unharmed, but the injustice of this vigilante execution touched the hearts of Muslim men in Louisville, Kentucky.
“Do you remember that couple that was killed in Pakistan last year?” Younathan, my Christian Pakistani friend asked,
The look on my face said, “No.”
“They were a Christian couple. They were accused of blasphemy and a mob surrounded their house and killed them.”
Younathan went on. “Two Pakistani men at the mosque here in Louisville contacted me and wanted to set up a scholarship for the four children that were left behind. They asked if I could help them.” Younathan took the request to his father. His father is a respected university professor and a leader in the Christian community in Pakistan.
Since the death of the couple, the four children have been in the custody of relatives. Reportedly, an uncle was receiving gifts to care for the children, but he was using the money for himself. Younathan’s father set up a trust fund for the children to be used solely for their education. Meanwhile, Younathan’s Muslim friends are planning on sending more money to help these Christian children receive their education.
As I was thinking how remarkable it was that a few Muslim men in Louisville would respond with such compassion for a poor Christian family in Pakistan, Younathan said, “You know you introduced us. I met them at the Pakistani Peace Feast.”
How amazing. Peace Catalyst gets Christians and Muslims together in Louisville, Kentucky and friendships are formed. Then God uses these connections to care for orphaned Christian children in Pakistan. God works things together in ways we never imagined. It was a humbling moment when the Lord affirmed our grassroots efforts to seek peace and pursue it. I did not even know it was happening, we had just been the catalyst as helping hands reached around the world.
Yes, ISIS is a major problem for both Muslims and Christians. Yes, blasphemy laws in Pakistan are frequently trumped up to hurt innocent people. Yes, people refuse to reject stereotypes, preferring broad narratives that dehumanize individuals and cause people to get hurt. But in this case, partly because of a Peace Feast, relationships were born, injustice was acknowledged, and suffering children were helped. In light of all of the devastating news we face daily, I thought you might appreciate hearing about a couple of local Muslims who reject violence and do what they can to assist suffering Christians in Pakistan.