By BosNewsLife Asia Service
KARACHI, PAKISTAN (BosNewsLife)– Funeral services were prepared Thursday, November 17, for a Christian evangelist and entrepreneur who was killed by suspected Islamic fighters in Pakistan’s financial capital Karachi, Christians said.
Jameel Saawan, 50, was reportedly shot in the neck and face the previous day when opening his cosmetics shop in the Moon Shopping Center in Gulshan-e-Iqbal area of Karachi. The young assasin fled on a motorcycle on which two other people were waiting, Christians said.
It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the killing, but his family linked the killing to his Christian activities. “We firmly believe that my father was killed because of his preaching of the Bible, because there is no other reason,” explained his son Zahid Jameel in published remarks.
The well-informed Pakistan Christian Congress (PCC), a major Christian party, claimed he was threatened by local Muslims opposing his Christian work among youth in Karachi’s area of Essa Nagri. “He was very popular among Christian circles of Karachi.”
Though running a shop to make a living, Saawan’s main passion “was working to safe Christian youth of Essa Nagri from drug addiction” and preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, PCC and other Christians said.
Yet, the “Muslim drugs mafia and police pushed drugs in this Christian colony to turn it into a den,” added PCC in a statement monitored by BosNewsLife.
On Thursday, November 17, Christians mourned Saawan, who leaves behind a wife and five children, the PCC said. There are conflicting reports over whether suspects have been detained, but police say they are investigating the case.
The latest incident comes amid concerns over deadly ethnic violence in Karachi, Pakistan’s biggest city, and reported attacks against Christians in several areas of the country.
In the region where Saawan was killed there are also graves of what PCC called Christian “martyrs”. They were killed in the 1970s when Muslim mobs backed by local authorities reportedly tried to grab land of a local church in Essa Nagri, Christians said.
Pakistan has come under international pressure to improve the situation of devoted minority Christians, who the U.S, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) says comprise less than 5 percent of the country’s mainly Muslim population of over 187 million people.