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Pakistan: Christian sanitation worker brutally beaten in Lahore

Christian sanitation worker, Yasir Masih brutally beaten in Lahore (Photo: X/@FarazPervaiz3)

A 35-year-old Christian sanitation worker, Yasir Masih, was beaten and left chained in the blistering heat for hours by a Muslim family upset over a delayed garbage collection in Lahore.


Hussain Masih, father-in-law of Yasir Masih, said he found the 35-year-old sanitation worker in the Gujjarpura area of Lahore chained to a chair in the street.

Hussain Masih recounted that Yasir was attacked by Muhammad Khadim Hussain, his son, and three others for not immediately complying with their demand to collect garbage and sweep their doorstep.

Yasir had promised to fulfill the request after completing his official duties of cleaning streets. However, upon visiting their house, he was directed to clean the roof, where he was subsequently assaulted with iron rods, punches, and kicks before being chained.

Yasir Masih’s primary responsibility was to clean streets, but he had customarily granted the Muslim family’s requests to clean their area, the Christian’s father-in-law said.

Yasir managed to escape while still chained to the chair, dragging himself out to the street, where passersby found him and informed his family. The incident occurred after Yasir had left for work early in the morning.

The family and friends of Yasir Masih protested at the Lahore Press Club, demanding justice. Police arrested Malik Hussain and two others, though his sons remained at large.

Hussain Masih emphasised their desire for justice, urging senior officials and community leaders to ensure the perpetrators are prosecuted and punished for their actions.

The incident further exposed the mindset of Pakistan’s Muslim majority towards marginalised and vulnerable sanitation workers, most of whom are Christians.

Christians in Pakistan are often referred to as Chuhra (low caste), a pejorative term reserved for sanitation workers, referring to their past as members of the subcontinent’s Hindu Chuhra caste that was historically associated with sweepers.

Though many of them converted to Islam and Christianity, they continue to suffer the same disparagement and are relegated to jobs seen as degrading and defiling.

Road sweepers in Pakistan are mostly Christians and are also referred to by other abusive slurs in local languages.

Pakistan ranked seventh on Open Doors’ 2024 World Watch List of the most difficult places to be a Christian, as it was the previous year.

Previously, an angry mob assaulted a Christian person, vandalised his house, and torched properties, alleging an incident of ‘blasphemy’ in Sargodha city, Pakistan.