A gang of Muslim men took advantage of deserted streets during the lockdown period to break into a church and threaten its Pastor.
its hinges. The vandals were taking advantage of the surrounding quiet and deserted streets during the COVID-19 lockdown, to break into a deserted
of hate, as they threatened to set fire to a Christian Church.
the building and threw it to the ground. The men could be heard yelling hate slogans against Christians and the church, and threatened to shoot any
locals who tried to intervene – aiming their guns at anyone who came close.
of the 5 or 6 men breaking down the 5ft boundary wall and removing the church front door from its hinges. Pastor Samuel holds the land registry
rights for the property and tells us he has the paperwork to prove this. He immediately called the police using the emergency number 15. He said:
“From the descriptions provided to me by local people, the situation was very dangerous and I feared there would be bloodshed. So I called the police immediately.
“It was clear these would-be property usurpers were not willing to negotiate or leave our church any other way.”
When the vandals heard the police nearing the property, they immediately fled the crime scene. Despite being identified by local witnesses and police
knowing the named culprits, no arrests have taken place.
no previous threats, nor have any of the other 4 churches in the area. It seems as if this attack is simply based on opportunism created by the COVID-19
pandemic and the large-size of the church building.
land, where the church has stood for over 2 decades.
are known to also use continual intimidation and threats on minority Christians, and to forge documents where original documentation of ownership is
lost. Under these circumstances, poor Christian property owners are sometimes forced into giving up their title in many blatant examples of land grab
theft. In extreme cases, when Christians who were donated land in city centres to build homes, by departing church leaderships just before partition
of Pakistan from India, land-grabbers resort to murder. These land mafia groups are fully aware of existing impunity by way of a bribe and seek to
remove the deprived vulnerable Christians from their shanty-type homes, from land that is highly valuable due to proximity of city centre. A famous
case is that of Archie Dass (click here).
In 2018 a Catholic Church suffered a gun attack to the front of their church, which was only stopped when brave young Christian men wrestled
the gunmen to the ground and held them till police arrived 30 minutes later (click here).
“I have been holding church services here from the last 10 years and we never had problems like this.
“We are a peaceful community and such incidents exhibit the great intolerance among religious communities, which can often result in serious consequences.”
that they will be served justice and the culprits will be soon arrested.
L-R Edward Masih with Rev Samuel Hidayat
preached on how the God of Daniel is standing with them.
A copy of the FIR
on the day of the attack. The FIR has listed the following charges against the men involved:
Though the last one is a blasphemy law, it is very unlikely that this will be enacted against a Muslim by a Christian due to the lower value applied
to the Christian faith in Pakistan.
British Pakistani Christian Association has gifted the church £100 and have not been asked to help further because a lot of support is coming from
the local community and politicians. We however, ask our supporters to keep this situation in their prayers.
Mehwish Bhatti, our National executive for Pakistan, said:
“The Government should take strict action against the perpetrators of this attempted land-grab.
“Failure to do so, creates fear in local congregations and takes away their freedom to practice their faith.
“Such freedoms are enshrined within the UN Human Rights Convention, which Pakistan has subscribed to and must adhere to.
“We pray for a quick resolution.”
British Asian Christian Association, strives to raise awareness of the persecution of the global South-Asian Christian community and to provide aid to them where possible. Please help us continue this work by donating (here)
Land registry papers for the church.