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    » 08/01/2009, 00.00

    PAKISTAN

    Muslims burn 75 Christian homes and 2 churches in Punjab

    Fareed Khan

    An alleged accusation of blasphemy sparks violence. The Pakistani president Zardari assures compensation for damages to the victims and sent the Minister for Minorities and Human Rights to express the government’s solidarity with the Christian community attacked.

    Islamabad (AsiaNews) - A crowd of Muslims looted and set on fire 75 houses of Christians and burned two churches in the village of Korian, Toba Tek Singh District in Punjab. Charges of alleged blasphemy against Mukhtar Masih, Talib Masih and the latter's son, Imran Maseeh unleashed the violent attack. The three hare accused of having desecrated the Koran during a wedding ceremony.

    According to local sources, the attackers came from a village near Korian. On July 30 they raided the homes of Christians and a group of them tried to stage a sort of public trial to extort apologies from Talib Masih for the act of which he was accused. The crowd then blocked the road connecting Faisalabad to Gojra and the entrance to the barracks of the village firemen, hampering rescue efforts to extinguish fires.

    The Pakistani president, Asif Ali Zardari, has expressed serious concern over the incident: "It is a fact that goes against the spirit of Islam and the rules of civil society where laws are manipulated and the members of a minority are subjected to violence on the basis of real or alleged crimes".  

    Zardari has asked the local authorities for a detailed report of the July 31 incident and sent the minister for minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti, as well as the minister for human rights, Kamran Michael, to express the closeness of the government to the attacked Christian community. They have ensured that victims will receive compensation for damage suffered.

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    See also

    20/06/2013 PAKISTAN
    Christian minister in Islamabad: Economics and minority rights, here are my challenges
    From 8 June Kamran Michael is Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping in the PML-N-led government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. For 10 years a member of the provincial assembly of Punjab, he is the second Christian (after Shahbaz Bhatti) to play a leading role in the executive. A plan for development and the goal of peace.

    13/09/2012 PAKISTAN
    Rimsha Masih trial adjourned. Bishop of Islamabad calls for her acquittal
    This morning the judges adjourned the session allowing more time for the investigators to conclude and submit their report. The defendant was not present in court for security reasons. Her fate is linked to the case against the imam who falsified evidence, the first hearing scheduled for September 16.

    29/10/2009 PAKISTAN
    Save Christians and Pakistan from the blasphemy law
    The blasphemy law - prison and death sentences for those who offend the Koran or Muhammad - is a tool to eliminate religious minorities. AsiaNews launches an awareness campaign for its repeal. Because of this law, since 2001 at least 50 Christians have been killed, families and entire villages destroyed. In the country Islamic and Christian voices appeal for its cancellation.

    29/10/2009 PAKISTAN
    The Catholic Church in Pakistan (An overview)
    Catholics are less than 1% of a total of over 160 million inhabitants. There are two archdiocese in the country, four dioceses and an apostolic prefecture. A small minority but active and appreciated for efforts in education, helping the poor, health care and emergency interventions.

    27/02/2010 PAKISTAN
    Karachi, a Christian sentenced to life imprisonment for blasphemy
    Qamar David was in prison since 2006. In the weeks after his arrest police failed to find any concrete evidence against him. Muslim co-defendant acquitted, for lack of evidence. Christian activists: verdict result of "influences and prejudices” and motivated by “ external pressures ".



    Editor's choices

    CHINA - VATICAN
    Vatican silence over Shanghai’s Mgr Ma Daqin causing confusion and controversy

    Bernardo Cervellera

    For some, Mgr Ma’s blog post praising the Patriotic Association and acknowledging his mistakes is nothing but “dirt”. For others, he chose humiliation for the “sake of his diocese”. Many wonder why the Holy See has remained silent about the article’s content and the bishop’s persecution. Some suspect the Vatican views the episode in positive terms. Yet, the Ma Daqin affair raises a major question. Has Benedict XVI’s Letter to Chinese Catholics (which describes the Patriotic Association as “incompatible with Catholic doctrine”) been abolished? If it has, who did it? A journey of compromises without truth is full of risks.


    CHINA – VATICAN
    Mgr Ma Daqin: the text of his “confession”

    Mons. Taddeo Ma Daqin

    Four years after quitting the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, the bishop of Shanghai “admits” his faults on his blog, praising the organisation that controls the Church. We publish his article, almost in its entirety. Translation by AsiaNews.


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