Muslim in Pakistan Confesses to Killing Christian Woman

Widow was threatened for refusing to marry him and convert, relative says.

The body of Shazia Imran was found in Lahore, Pakistan on June 7, 2023. (Morning Star News courtesy of family)

The body of Shazia Imran Masih was found in Lahore, Pakistan on June 7, 2023. (Morning Star News courtesy of family)

LAHORE, Pakistan (Morning Star News) – A Christian family in Lahore, Pakistan is seeking justice and protection after four Muslims abducted, gang-raped and killed a widow for refusing to convert to Islam and marry the primary suspect, sources said.

In the killing of 40-year-old Shazia Imran Masih last month, the assailants slashed her neck and doused her with acid, her brother said, though it was not known if the acid burns came before or after her death. The primary suspect has confessed to the killing, according to police.

Shazia Masih’s husband also was killed a year and a half ago, and the family has seen no justice in that case either as police cast it as an accident, said her brother, Zafar Masih.

Shazia Masih, who began working as a nanny at a daycare center at the Lahore University of Management Sciences after her husband’s death, left her rented home in Lahore’s Mehar Town for work on June 6 but did not return, Zafar Masih said. He said that the primary suspect, Noman (known as Mani) Gujjar, was a notorious area criminal and had been pressuring her to convert to Islam along with her children and marry him.

“Shazia did not share this with us due to fears for our security, but three days before her abduction, she told [another relative] that Gujjar had threatened to kill her if she did not surrender to his demand,” Zafar Masih told Morning Star News.

After Shazia Masih’s oldest son, 16, informed Zafar Masih that she had not returned home, he and other relatives began searching for her. Unable to find her, they informed police of her disappearance on June 7.

“Later in the day we received a call from the Hyer police station that they had found a body from a plot that matched Shazia’s description,” Zafar Masih said. “We immediately went to the police station, but when we saw the body, we could not believe our eyes. Shazia’s jugular vein had been slit with a sharp object, and her body had been badly burnt by acid.”

A forensic examination revealed that she had been gang-raped before being killed, said Zafar Masih, a member of a local evangelical church.

Police arrested Gujjar, and though he confessed to the murder, officers seemed uninterested in arresting three suspected accomplices, Gujjar’s brother and two cousins, Zafar Masih said.

“The accused are very influential, and they have been persistently threatening us to reconcile and withdraw the case,” he said. “Due to these threats, we have been forced to go into hiding and are not even free to pursue the case. Gujjar is still in police custody, but we doubt that we’ll get justice for our sister, as the police’s bias is evident by its inaction against the remaining accused.”

Zafar Masih said the incident had traumatized Shazia’s children, the oldest as well as a 7-year-old and a 6-year-old. His elderly mother is taking care of them.

“We have lost all hope for justice and appeal to our church leaders and government officials to provide justice and security to us,” he said.

Soon after a video appeal of the family began circulating on social media, Punjab police released a tweet from its official handle stating that they regretted the murder taking on a “religious color.”

“The main accused in his confessional statement has said that the woman had developed relations with him after her husband’s death and had now started blackmailing him, prompting him to murder her,” the tweet in Urdu stated.

Police were conspicuously silent, however, on any evidence of blackmail and how or why it would have been attempted, nor on why the remaining three suspects have not been arrested. Morning Star News made repeated attempts to question the superintendent of police and the investigating officer, but their phones remained inaccessible.

Vulnerability of Minority Women

Pakistan is facing global censure for its shaky commitments to safeguarding religious minorities and the unwillingness of the Pakistani government to denounce extremism without equivocation.

While Pakistan’s draconian blasphemy laws have been widely condemned by the international community, forced conversions are now the primary means of wiping out Christian communities in Pakistan, church leaders and rights activists say.

Despite attempts to pass legislation against forced conversions, especially in provincial assemblies, liberal Pakistani legislators have been unable to do so, nor amend Pakistan’s child marriage laws. Samson Salamat, chairman of socio-political movement Rawadari Tehreek, said the murder of Shazia Imran was further evidence of the vulnerability faced by Pakistani women in general and minority women in particular.

“This gory incident is also an example that with forced marriage, minority women have to go through the trauma of changing their faith and in case of refusal, the result is even worse,” Salamat told Morning Star News. “Shazia’s case is crystal clear, but the circumstances show that the police are siding with the influential perpetrators instead of administering justice to the victim’s family. The situation is critical, as the family is fearful of even pursuing the case due to constant threat to their lives.”

Bishop Azad Marshall, president of the Church of Pakistan, condemned the killing and police inaction against the perpetrators.

“Our hearts go out to the children and other family members of our deceased sister,” Marshall told Morning Star News. “The manner in which the poor woman was raped and murdered and her body mutilated by acid has shocked the entire Christian community. We are now hearing such cases of aggression and brutality against Christian women almost on a daily basis, and we demand the government to take cognizance of such crimes and make examples of the perpetrators.”

The senior church leader said they had taken notice of the family’s appeal for help and vowed to stand with them in their pursuit for justice.

“We are already fighting to save our young girls from the scourge of forced faith conversions, but our married women are also increasingly being targeted to convert and marry Muslims,” he said. “This is unacceptable.”

Each year dozens of girls, mostly teenagers from the Hindu community in the southern province of Sindh, along with minority Christians in Punjab Province, fall victim to forced conversions facilitated by Muslim leaders and groups, according to rights activists.

At least 124 cases of forced faith conversions were reported in 2022, according to the Lahore-based Center for Social Justice; 81 Hindus, 42 Christians and one Sikh. Shockingly, 23 percent of the girls were below 14 years old, and 36 percent were between the age of 14 and 18 years. Only 12 percent of the victims were adults, while the age of 28 percent of the victims was not reported.

The center stated that 65 percent of the cases were reported in Sindh Province, followed by 33 percent in Punjab Province and 0.8 percent each in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces.

The United States last year placed Pakistan on its list of “Countries of Particular Concern” for religious freedom violations. Pakistan ranked seventh on Open Doors’ 2023 World Watch List of the most difficult places to be a Christian, up from eighth the previous year.

If you would like to help persecuted Christians, visit for a list of organizations that can orient you on how to get involved.  

If you or your organization would like to help enable Morning Star News to continue raising awareness of persecuted Christians worldwide with original-content reporting, please consider collaborating at


© 2023 Morning Star News. Articles/photos may be reprinted with credit to Morning Star News. 



Morning Star News is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation that relies solely on contributions to offer original news reports of persecuted Christians. By providing reliable news on the suffering church, Morning Star News’ mission is to empower those in the free world to help and to encourage persecuted Christians that they are not forgotten or alone. For free subscription, contact [email protected]; to make tax-deductible donations, visit or send check to Morning Star News, 728 A Kodiak St., Eielson AFB, AK 99702, USA.


  1. Bro. Nick Nicholas says

    I am a “Christian” (Acts 11:26 ~ Romans 10:8-13 ~ Ephesians 4:4-6 ~AV~KJV) who is so very-very-very thankful unto “the LORD JEHOVAH” (Isaiah 26:3-4 ~AV) for every one of “my brethren” “in Christ Jesus our Lord” who live in countries all around the world
    – For “we” know that the persecution of “our brethren” in Pakistan – and in 140+ ‘Other Countries’ – is going to continue to increase by ALL of those people who have made the personal choice not to believe in “the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb”
    Thankfully “we” are spiritually led to pray Biblically “the words of truth” that are written unto “us” in 1 Timothy, Chapter 2 [AV] :
    [1] I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
    [2] For kings, and for all that are in authority;
    that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
    [3] For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
    [4] Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
    [5] For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
    [6] Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
    ~~~> Titus 2:11-15 ~ Ephesians 2:5 [AV]
    And “we” who are the Biblical “believeth” followers of “our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” also know that “the words of truth” written some 3,000 years ago in Psalm 116 [AV] are eternally “the truth”
    – For “it is written” in Verse 15 :
    Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.

  2. donna stanford says

    Thank-you brother Nick Nicholas- Thank you always for reminding us of our Lord’s precious word. Our Lord Jesus Christ-the way, the truth, and the life. I will pray for all our persecuted, and for all those who are stiffened due to the fear their spouses put them through until they are freed and can get away. Being forced to serve is just as fake as it can be. Brothers and sisters, you keep praying, stand for Jesus, and He will be there for you. Get away from idolatry, for I would rather have 3 minutes of praising Jesus and shouting his love from the mountain tops than living without him for a lifetime. Donna Stanford, a child of God by his grace and the blood of Jesus Christ my savior.

Speak Your Mind