Shortly after leading the Sunday service Jan. 30 at his church in Pakistan, a Christian lay pastor was killed, possibly for his faith, reported the relief group Barnabas Aid.
William Siraj and Patrick Naeem were in a vehicle on the way home after the service when gunmen on a motorcycle fired into the vehicle, the report stated. Siraj was killed. A bullet passed through Naeem’s clothing, but he was unharmed.
The group Human Rights Focus Pakistan suspects that the gunmen possibly were from an Islamist faction and had come into Pakistan from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, the report said.
Siraj — a husband and father — was a lay pastor at Shaheedan-E-All Saints Church (Martyrs and All Saints Church) near Peshawar, Pakistan. On Sept. 22, 2013, a suicide bombing at the church killed more than 120 people. Siraj’s son-in-law was one of the fatalities, said the report.
Pakistan is No. 8 on Open Doors’ 2022 World Watch List of places most difficult to be a Christian.