Monday, February 2, 2009

Churches skirt destruction in Pakistan

Three churches were attacked in Karachi, Pakistan's economic capital
Sunday, February 01, 2009
By Aftab Mughal

Within a week, three churches were attacked in Karachi city, an economic capital of Pakistan. The Christ Awami Church was attacked twice; a church in Zia Colony in Korangi was also attacked, while a third Reformed Presbyterian Church in Golimar was attacked on Jan. 4.

Pakistan Minorities Front Chairman Michael Javaid (also a former Christians Member of Provincial Assembly, MPA) said that the R. P. Church was attacked allegedly by a group of Baloch men. The police intervened, however, and prevented the church from being destroyed, The News, a Pakistani English daily, reported on Jan. 6. During the attack on Christ Awami Church, unidentified men smashed windows of the church, broke a cross on the wall, damaged hymn books and dumped garbage in the premises of the church. An FIR was lodged the following day after immense pressure and protests from the Christian community.

However, according to Daily Times, another Pakistani English daily, of Jan. 3, the Boat Basin police arrested three men Sher Zaman, Sher Zamir and Bakhti Rehman for pelting Christ Awami Church in the Shah Rasool Colony under a registered case (First Information Report No 04/2009). A member of the church Yaqub Nazar said, “There was a fight between the young men from our community and others during a football match and we were threatened with consequences.”

Aftab Mughal edits the Minorities Concern newsletter of Pakistan.

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