Pakistani pastor murdered on his way home from Sunday service

by Seth Udinski

Seth Udinski, FISM News


In a horrifying report of persecution against Christians, a pastor in Pakistan was shot and killed on his way home from his church’s service on Sunday, January 30.

Rev. William Siraj, a 75-year-old Anglican minister, was driving home after the Sunday service at his church in the Diocese of Peshawar in the Church of Pakistan. His car was attacked by motorcyclists, who shot the pastor as well as his fellow minister, Rev. Naheem Patrick. Rev. Siraj was shot several times and reportedly died instantly, while Rev. Patrick was shot once but is currently in stable condition.

The heinous killing sparked mourning throughout the Christian community in the region, with many demanding justice. As of this writing, the killers have not been identified or apprehended and no organization has claimed responsibility for the murder.

A memorial service was held for the pastor in Peshawar on Jan. 31.

Bishop Azad Marshall of the Church in Pakistan said on Twitter,

We strongly condemn the firing on clergy of Diocese of Peshawar and instant killing of Pastor William Siraj and injuring Rev Patrick Naeem earlier today. We demand justice and protection of Christians from the Government of Pakistan.

Pakistan is one of the most dangerous places in the world for Christians, where less than 4 million people claim the name of Christ in a population that exceeds 220 million.

Further endangering Christians in Pakistan, is the situation in Pakistan’s neighboring country, Afghanistan. Reports of Christian abuse have continued to leak out of the Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover of the region in August of 2021. The murder of Pastor Siraj took place only 34 miles away from the Afghani border.

Pakistani Catholic priest Father Mushtaq Anjum said recently of the plight of Christians in Pakistan,

The threat against them [Christians] has increased, since our government supports the victory of the Taliban in Afghanistan. I am afraid many Taliban will return to Pakistan and exploit Islamist extremism, pushing Pakistani terror groups to step up attacks.