Anti-Christian Mob of 1500 Riot in Punjab, Pakistan, Destroying Churches and Homes

From: Old Catholic Church of Great Britain
Published: Tue Nov 15 2005

As many of us in Europe, Canada and USA took part in services of remembrance for those that fell during the World Wars, Muslim extremists attacked Christian properties in Sangla Hill, Pakistan and destroyed five churches, a dozen houses, three schools, a dispensary, a convent and two parsonages..

The Parish priest Rev. Fr. Samson Dilawar along with local Christian leaders had been informed before hand, about the Muslim Fundamentalist’s plans to attack Christian institutions and Church properties, he reported the threats to local police and government security force. Even with pre-knowledge of the plans to raise a riot consisting of a mob of over 1500, the local authorities and security forces did not listen and made no move towards the protection of the Christian population and their property.

The Muslim mob waving axes and sticks attacked the Christian properties and settlements in the city of Sangla Hill, Faisalabad. Catholic, Presbyterian, and Salvation Army Churches, a convent, a girls hostel and twelve houses were set ablaze.

Police have stated that the riots started after Muslim preachers urged people to 'take revenge' after a Christian allegedly burnt pages of the Koran".

Shahbaz Bhatti, head of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance - which promotes the rights of minorities in mainly Sunni Muslim Pakistan - denied the charges and condemned the attacks. "No Christian burned copies of the Quran," he told The Associated Press. "No Christian can even think of doing it," he said.

Archbishop Gary Beaver, of the Old Catholic Church and leader of the "Doing Hard Time for God!" project combating Christian persecution, stated " I am totally shocked to hear of such mob rioting and obvious anti-Christian attacks." Archbishop Gary called for the Government of Pakistan to urgently address the issues at hand and bring legislation into force to protect the Christian Communities against such ongoing religious persecution.

In an official communication, the Old Catholic Church stated that in order for a peaceful environment to be created for all people, the Pakistan Government must permit the freedom of all religions without any discrimination or persecution.

Archbishop Gary Beaver said "we are in deep grief and offer our prayers for all the suffering Christian brothers and sisters that make up the community of Sangla Hill, Pakistan.
Company: Old Catholic Church of Great Britain
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