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» 04/28/2011
PAKISTAN
Anti-Christian violence in Punjab, young woman raped, Protestant pastor attacked
Two members of an extremist group open fire at the car of Rev Ashraf Paul in Lahore. His 24-year-old son is critically wounded but is now out of danger. In Faisalabad, a police officer rapes a 24-year-old woman over four days.

Lahore (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Anti-Christian violence continues in Pakistan, after Easter was celebrated in memory of Shahbaz Bhatti, the country’s Minority Affairs minister assassinated in March. Yesterday, an extremist group ambushed a Protestant clergyman travelling with his family, seriously wounding his 24-year-old son. A few days ago, a young Christian woman was abducted and raped over several days by a man claiming to be a police officer. After she was let go, he fled without leaving a trace.

Two members of Tehreek-e-Ghazi Bin Shaheed (TGBS), an extremist Muslim group, attacked a Protestant clergyman and his family. The incident occurred near the town of Hamza, near Lahore (Punjab). The pastor’s 24-year-old son sustained serious injuries. The clergyman himself had received threats and demands for money a few weeks earlier.

Rev Ashraf Paul, 55, and his family were driving down Ferozepur Road. At one point, two men on motorbikes intercepted the vehicle, firing at the clergyman’s car, which was hit at least five times. His 24-year-old son, Sarfaz, was critically wounded.

The two suspects, aged 19 to 21, fled the scene right after the attack. Their identity is unknown, but in addition to police, activists from the Center for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS) are on the case.

Sarfaz Paul was rushed to the Mayo Hospital, in central Lahore, where he underwent emergency surgery. Doctors removed three bullets, from the young man’s jaw, waist and public area. The latest medical bulletin said that he was “out of danger” but still under close observation.

In Faisalabad, 24-year-old Sehar Naz, was abducted and repeatedly rape by a man claiming to be a police officer.

After sexually assaulting her several times, in Lahore and Faisalabad, the man, who claimed to be a Major Rana Atif, left the woman at the Faisalabad Railway Station.

The sexual assault, which occurred in mid-April, was confirmed by doctors at Faisalabad’s Civil Hospital.

Police opened a file against the accused rapist, who has since disappeared without leaving a trace.


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See also
04/09/2005 PAKISTAN
Alleged Easter attackers arrested in Lahore
12/10/2004 PAKISTAN – HUMAN RIGHTS
Religious minorities, persecuted and marginalised
by Qaiser Felix
11/21/2011 PAKISTAN
Faisalabad: accused of blasphemy, woman freed thanks to help from Christians and Muslims
by Shafique S. Khokhar
05/05/2011 PAKISTAN
Long-term “surgical intervention” needed in Pakistan, Paul Bhatti says
04/11/2005 PAKISTAN
Protestant clergyman and driver killed, bodies mutilated
by Qaiser Felix

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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