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Mar-07-2014 11:40printcomments

Muslims Vandalize Church Under Construction

Christians of the Okara district dared to construct a new Church building along with a Christian school.

Burning church
File photo: voiceofthepersecuted.wordpress.com

(ISLAMABAD) - Religious freedom is guaranteed under Pakistan’s constitution, but discriminatory legislation punishes those who choose to actively follow the Christian faith and places restriction on the Church. Restrictions on spreading the gospel publicly are reportedly banned and the same holds true with construction of new Churches, and honestly speaking I am being beaten up by the radical Muslims in Mansrah district for selling religious books when I voluntarily worked with Operation Mobilization - OM team in Pakistan.

Christians of the Okara district dared to construct a new Church building along with a Christian school on a two-kanal piece of land owned by Akber Masih, one of their community members in the last week. But their dreams didn’t come true when a day after they had partially constructed a church building and installed a cross, radical Muslims came in and damaged the building first with their hands and later they plowed the ground with the help of a tractor.

The investigation officer – IO Mohammad Javed, said that police have registered an FIR (First Incident Report) and planned to arrest the accused.

Sohail Johnson, head of Sharing Life Ministries, reached the location with his team. Talking on the telephone, he said that First Investigation Report – FIR under section 295 – A and 506 – B of Pakistan Penal Code against ten people for damaging the church and defaming a cross is registered but police have not been able to make any arrests so far. He said that Christians in Pakistan face discrimination in its different forms and are not protected in the country. He added that we are equal citizen of this country and our forefathers have shed their blood for this piece of land. We will fight for our rights if not rendered and in this struggle we will not spare anyone. He demanded the chief minister to take strict measures against the perpetrators.

Farrukh H Saif, chief of WVIP, said that we have been struggling against discriminatory laws by decades and will not leave any stone unturned to achieve the rights of our people. The Blasphemy law is used for vested interest and minority girls are raped and married forcefully.

Earlier, in September 21, 2012, St. Paul Lutheran Church in Mardan was burnt by radical Muslims, and a year later, in September 22, 2013, hundreds were killed, and over 150 were injured in the Peshawar church attack. Two Churches in Joseph Colony, Lahore were set ablaze with 150 houses of Christians to take revenge of the blasphemy allegedly committed by a Christian man.

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About Shamim Masih

"I am Christian rights activist and freelancer Pakistani journalist specializing in writing about Christians rights for the different papers in the world. My aim is to create a peaceful environment in the society and to help eliminate Christian persecution through my writing as I bring the plight of these brave people under the spotlight of the whole world."

Shamim Masih was born in Sheikhopura's village and raised in Gujranwala, a city in Pakistan's Punjab province. He earned his Bachelors Degree from the University of the Punjab, Lahore majoring in English, Economics and Statistics; he also received a Masters Degree in Business Administration.

As a freelance writer and author, Shamim has written for different papers in the world; his expertise is in writing articles highlighting different social issues. He has served as freelance chief reporter and column writer in “Minority Times” in Islamabad, and a number of Shamim's articles have been published in local papers as well.

You can write to Shamim at this address: shamimpakistan@gmail.com

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