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» 01/20/2009
PAKISTAN
Pakistani Muslims attack church, torture Christians
by Qaiser Felix
At the origin of the violence is a dispute over land acquired by a Catholic of the village, and the marriage between a Christian young man and a Muslim young woman. In spite of the charges, the local police have not yet arrested anyone.

Kot Lakha Singh (AsiaNews) - Muslim groups have attacked a church and Christian homes in the village of Kot Lakha Singh, in the district of Narowal, province of Punjab. The incident goes back to January 14, and the news was released by Pakistan's National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP), after verifying the event with a fact-finding mission carried out on January 19.

Irfan Barkat, legal-aid advisor of the NCJP, tells AsiaNews that the violence began with an attack on the home of William Masih, a Catholic of the village. An unspecified number of people tortured those present, including women and children, and then stole money and gold objects from the home. The crowd then attacked the homes of three other Christian families in the village, broke into the church, which is used by both the Catholic and Protestant community, and damaged the furniture and tore the liturgical books and bibles.

The events were reported on January 18 to the police of Nindo Ki, who have not yet made any arrests.

The head of the NCJP explains that at the origin of the violence is the dispute over land that Masih bought a few months ago from a Muslim. The property is also claimed by another inhabitant of the village, Noor Muhammad, who says that he is the legitimate proprietor.

Irfan Barkat says that the small Christian community of Kot Lakha Singh is made up of 25 families (Catholic and Protestant) that, in the overwhelmingly Islamic village, are subjected to constant harassment: "Muslims of the village have socially boycotted the Christians, and Muslim shopkeepers have refused to sell daily use items to Christians."

The everyday tension has been increased by the recent marriage between a Christian young man and Muslim young woman in the village. This has irritated the Muslims, who are now trying to do whatever they can to make the Christians pay for what they believe to be an affront.


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See also
03/05/2009 PAKISTAN
Muslims attack Christian community in Punjab
10/09/2008 IRAQ
Islamic fundamentalists: "expel Christians from Mosul"
04/30/2009 BANGLADESH
"Unity in diversity": imams and Christian leaders condemn extremist violence
by William Gomes
10/24/2008 INDIA
Sister raped in Orissa accuses police of being "friendly" toward rapists
by Nirmala Carvalho
12/19/2008 PAKISTAN
Islamic threats in church: bible burned, appeal to conversion
by Qaiser Felix

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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