Christian evangelist’s murder linked to argument

The Essa Nagri preacher would go house to house; police fear he may have been targeted.

Rabia Ali November 20, 2011
Christian evangelist’s murder linked to argument


As the family of an evangelist who was shot dead on Wednesday prayed for him at Holy Trinity Church, they also accepted that preaching about their religion might not be safe any more.

Fifty-year-old Christian preacher Jamil Sawan, who used to visit one house after another in his mixed-religion neighbourhood of Essa Nagri, was shot dead last week. Two men killed him at the cosmetics shop he ran at a nearby shopping centre.

Sawan’s son Shahid sees this act as a target killing on the basis of religion. “My father was killed because he was so vocal and people don’t like Christians preaching openly,” he told The Express Tribune.

Pastor Shahid Saghar of Global Vision Jerusalem church, where Sawan was one of the appointed preachers, agrees. He cryptically added that a recent argument could have led to the murder. “A couple of days ago, he had an argument with some political activists on religion,” he said. But the pastor was too scared to share any more details. By way of indicating that there had been an argument he added that he knew Sawan held staunch beliefs.

Luckily, the pastor isn’t the only one who heard about the fight. “There have been rumours that there was a fight, but we are investigating the matter,” said Aziz Bhatti SHO Kenson Dean, under whose jurisdiction the murder took place. Dean ruled out a robbery and said that he was fairly certain Sawan was targeted.

The family has registered a murder case, FIR No 691/11,  but it has not named any suspects.

Sawan, who was the church’s evangelist for the last three years, hailed from Quetta and moved to Karachi a few years ago. He was also a member of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance.

The murder has alarmed Christians far and wide. MPA Saleem Khokhar, who was among the mourners, said that the community was shaken by the murder as Sawan was quite popular. “He was not afraid to voice his opinions in front of those who believed the opposite,” said Khokhar.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 21st, 2011.


AAhmed | 12 years ago | Reply

No one needs to bomb us into stone age, we can do it ourselves.

ishaq | 12 years ago | Reply

Stone age Here we are coming

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