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Sunday 25 March 2012

Jizya Tax imposed on Christians in Essa Nagri, Karachi.

Essa Nagri is a densly populated Christian community in Karachi. The total population of Essa Nagri is said to be close to 50,000 men, women and children. 

Christians living there suffer great poverty, however, they are strong believers and church attendance is very good.  Essa nagri is served by over 15 established churches of varying denominations; Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Church of Pakistan, Philadelphia Pentecostal, Seventh Day Adventist, Salvation Army.  In addition to this many other large and small Ministries are also working in Essa Nagri.

During the last six months, Essa Nagri people have been subjected to increasing attacks from local Islamic militants. The militants are entering Essa Nagri with guns, machine guns, pistols and other modern weapons.  They enter the Christian colony and loot the community.  Incidents include; snatching mobile phones, obtaining Jizya tax (Islamic religious tax for protection of minorities) under duress - often at gun point and violent attacks on innocent victims simply for fun.  As they leave they celebrate their haul by firing their guns in the air and whooping!  This is causing significant fear in the local community.
Mission and Action for Social Services (MASS) Karachi, Pakistan. Is an organization working for the rights of Christians. MASS has filed a written complaint in P.I.B Police Station Karachi on 21-03-2012.  They have also written a complaint to the Director General of Pakistan Rangers on 23-03-2012.  

A spokesperson said:

"We have called on both bodies to take action against these terrorists." 

The BPCA has been advised that as we write this article violents attacks have continued since the two letters detailed above and no action to curb the activity has been initiated.  

An Essa Nagri resident said;

" We are not cowards but we don't have weapons, how we can fight against these terrorists."

The BPCA has responded to a MASS appeal for pray and calls for Christians across the Globe to pray for the Christians of Essa Nagri.  Pray for direct Government intervention to ensue, and for it to be effective in alleviating the suffering of this beleaguered community.


  1. Thank you for reporting on this. May God bless you as you continue to expose the hateful and violent behavior by the Islamic militants, which is sadly allowed to take place by the provincial and national governments of Pakistan.


  2. ASIA/PAKISTAN - Firing on Christians: Three injured in Karachi, threats to a Christian MP from Sindh


    Karachi (Agenzia Fides) - A group of extremists raided the Christian neighborhood of Essa Nagri, in Karachi, firing wildly and injuring three Christians: Aftab Bhatti Khairat Masih, 40 years old, the 22-year-old Khurram Afzal and the 15-year-old Khurram Ishaq who were taken to hospital. As reported to Fides, the terrorists also hit the Adventist Church of the Seventh-day and the Church of St. Luke. The incident, which occurred on May 19, brings to surface the question of insecurity and persecution of the Christian communities of Essa Nagri and other suburbs of Karachi, the capital of the province of Sindh, city where sectarian violence is widespread. As previously reported by Fides Agency, the Christian population of Essa Nagri is terrified: violent raids increase, day and night, on behalf of Islamic extremist groups. In the district, densely populated, about 50,000 Christians live in conditions of extreme poverty and lack of basic services and there are about 15 churches of various denominations. The militants enter Essa Nagri holding guns and machine guns, ransacking homes and committing all kinds of violence against defenseless families. They steal, extort money, saying that they must collect the "jizya" (the tax imposed, according to the sharia, on non-Muslim minorities), they strike innocent victims, abuse women for fun. The phenomenon was already reported to Fides by the Catholic politician of Sindh, Michael Javed who had spoken of "rapes and torture of Christian women and children " (see Fides 14/1/2012). Meanwhile, the Christian community in Sindh fears for the life of Saleem Khursheed Khokhar, another Christian MP, President of the Standing Committee on Minorities and President of "All Pakistan Minorities Alliance" (APMA) in the province. Khokhar resided with his family in Essa Nagri and now he seems to have become the target of extremist groups because of his commitment to the defense of Christian and Hindu minorities. As revealed to Fides, Khokhar continues to receive threats. A recent text message on his cell said: "This is a country for Muslims, no one else can live here." Khokhar reported the matter to the police, who ignored his complaints. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 26/5/2012)