» 08/03/2009, 00.00
Anti-Christian attacks “premeditated”, says archbishop of Lahore
Mgr Saldanha calls for more decisive government action to protect the Christian minority, forced to “defend itself alone”. He launches an appeal “to protect the Christians of Pakistan.” Christian leaders shut down all Christian schools and institutions to protest the violence. The Pope sends a telegram for the victims.
Blasphemy laws, a pretext to attack Pakistan’s religious minorities
The official death toll in the Gojra massacre now stands at eight. A 35-year-old man succumbs last night to injuries he sustained during the attack by Muslim fundamentalists. Rights activists and minority leaders believe the government condones such attacks by tolerating laws that punish offences against Islam. The Catholic Church of India and Geneva-based World Council of Churches express their solidarity with fellow Christians in Pakistan.
Christian leaders urge Pakistan president to repeal blasphemy law
The Christian community has called a protest strike on 17 November in the wake of violence and destruction of churches and Christian places in Sangla Hill. The public security forces are under fire for their alleged inefficiency.
Archbishop of Canterbury: "Musharraf should review blasphemy law"
During his Pakistan visit, the Anglican leader has called on the government to rethink the blasphemy law after the attacks on the Christian community at Sangla Hill.
Fanaticism will destroy country, Christian leaders warn Musharraf
This is the second time since the Sangla Hill attack that Christian leaders have called for the abrogation of the blasphemy law and for an end to religious fundamentalism.
Punjab Christians urge government to visit their destroyed churches
The AsiaNews correspondent in Sangla Hill has gathered witness accounts and precise accusations from the Christian community there, which saw churches, convents and schools burned down and looted. "Blasphemy has nothing to do with it," they say. "It's all about persecution." Torture at the police headquarters was reported. (Photos were taken by our correspondent: the Christian community of Sangla Hill and their destroyed property).
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