Muslim captors told Pastor Yousaf Masih
, 33, that they were taking revenge for the United States' military presence in the country and ordered him to stop "praying for Muslims" in his
Baptist church in Jacobabad.
The Baptist minister was abducted off a back street near his
home after dark on Sunday evening, September 12.Walking home from a worship service, Masih
was confronted by a bearded man who held a revolver to his
side, warning, "If you try to resist me, I will shoot you and your wife and children."
With the help of another accomplice, the man forced Masih
into a red car parked along a nearby main street.Although the men spoke Urdu with Masih
said they spoke with each other in Pashto, the language of the tribal Pathans living in southern Afghanistan and the northwest territories of Pakistan.
was blindfolded, he
understood from the shouts of transport hawkers along the way that they were driving through Sukkur."After this they turned left [north], but then the car turned many ways, so I had no knowledge where I was being taken," Masih
told Compass by telephone today from Jacobabad.
When the car stopped, Masih
was taken into a room where his
head was shaved, and his
shirt and trousers exchanged for traditional "shalvar kamiz" clothing."Then they injected something into my right arm, and I went unconscious," he
came back to his
found himself in another room with an iron girder, where his
captors suspended him by his
legs, with his
hands tied behind his
"They beat me on my legs and arms and back with long wooden sticks, shouting, ‘Christians are dogs!'" Masih
The pastor said his
captors denounced the "Christian" American military for killing "many, many of our Muslim people," complaining specifically about the U.S. contingent based at Shahbaz Air Force Base near Jacobabad.
"You are a Christian, and the Americans are also Christians.So tell the Americans to leave this airbase.Otherwise, we will continue to give trouble to you and other Christians," they warned.
In addition, the kidnappers ordered Masih
to stop praying for Muslims at his
told them that Hindus and Muslims and people from the Christian community all come to visit his
home."So I pray with them over their problems," he
After the threats and extended thrashing, he
was taken down and given some bread, lentils and water.Soon afterward he
again fell unconscious, causing him to suspect they had drugged the food.He
awoke in yet another room, where he
was whipped on the soles of his
feet and fed bread and vegetable curry.
next regained consciousness, he
found himself lying on the ground outside, in the dark of night."My whole body was seriously swollen, my feet and my legs, but I started to walk slowly," he
came to a small road, a Suzuki pickup came along and stopped for him.Masih
explained what had happened, asking where he
was.The driver told him they were just a half-hour's drive to Bannu City, some 600 miles north of Jacobabad.So he agreed to take the injured pastor to the Bannu Christian Hospital, where he was admitted shortly before midnight on September 14.
According to a medical report issued by the Bannu hospital
, the effects of the heavy beatings caused serious swelling and damage to the pastor's leg tissues and injury to his
blood pressure continues to drop as low as 100/40 at times, he
was transferred on September 17 under police protection back to his
home in Jacobabad, where the small government hospital continues to monitor his
treatment.It has been recommended that he go to the Agha Khan Hospital in Karachi within the next week for an advanced medical checkup.
Although local police resisted initial attempts to file a report on his
disappearance, an official First Information Report was registered on September 14.Since Masih's return home, Jacobabad's
senior superintendent of police has insisted it was a faked kidnapping, and that his
alleged captors were Christians, not Muslims."You were not kidnapped," Din Mohammed Baloch reportedly told Masih
on September 23."You were doing a drama."
Married with a nine-year-old son and four-year-old daughter, Masih
admitted, "My wife is really feeling very troubled now.So pray for us."Masih is the second Protestant pastor subjected to kidnapping and torture at the hands of Islamist extremists in Pakistan within the past four months.