» 10/06/2011, 00.00
Armed group kills Christian over disputed land in Punjab
Last night, Safdar Masih was shot to death; others, including children, were injured. The local Church had bought some land to build an orphanage, but the local land mafia laid claim to it. Police refuses to open an investigation into the affair.
Lahore (AsiaNews) – Safdar Masih, a Pakistani Christian living in Mian Channu, a town in Khanewal District (Punjab), was murdered Wednesday night over a land dispute. A dozen people were injured. According to sources, a local Church had bought the land to build an orphanage, but an influential local feudal lord, Muhammad Ali Durrani, tried to claim the land.
Local residents say the rich Muslim backs the land mafia and tried to take the land bought by the Church. On Monday, local residents submitted an application at the local police station against Durrani and his associates, but police tried to pressure them and threatened them to withdraw their complaint.
On Wednesday, arriving by car, armed men attacked locals, murdered Safdar Masih, and injured over a dozen other residents including children. They also took over the land. Police did not register a First Information Report (FIR) about the anti-Christian attack.
The Catholic Church in Khanewal has condemned the latest incident and called for immediate action.
“We strongly condemn this murder,” Fr Ilyas John from Khanewal said. “This is not the first incident of land grabbing in the district,” he told AsiaNews
. “Influential feudals target the weak and the vulnerable.”
The local Church does not have a big congregation but bought the land to build an orphanage. However, it should have given greater consideration to the organizational capacity needed in taking such a step because “the land mafia in this region is very strong and they keep an eye on such projects as they are an easy catch,” the clergyman explained.
Christian farm workers abducted by Muslim landowners for money in Faisalabad
The Masih brothers worked on land owned by the Dogar family. The latter are Muslim and some of its members used to get drunk and beat the tenants. When Asif and Khadim decided to quit, they were abducted. Nothing has been known about their fate since September. The authorities have not investigated the matter because one of the Dogars is a policeman.
Lahore, one hundred Muslims and Christians in support of the Christian “blasphemer”
Among supporters the Muslim president of Samanabad’s Commercial Union, who admits to having been duped by “instigators” who presented the 84 year old Walter Fazal Khan as a blasphemer. In the meantime, Charsadda Christians appeal for prayers for their frightening situation.
84-year-old Christian accused of blasphemy to force him to sell land
Walter Fazal Khan, an 84-year-old man from Lahore, is in jail, accused of burning pages of the Quran. His family says this is a plot orchestrated by some businessmen who did not take kindly to the man’s refusal to sell them his land at their price.
Faisalabad: Muslim leaders defend young Christian against false blasphemy accusations
Philip Masih was accused of removing a poster on a shop wall by a Muslim neighbour who got armed men together to punish the alleged blasphemer. The police and the authorities successfully prevented a violent escalation. The two had argued before and the Muslim man wanted revenge.
Faisalabad: Christians, not Muslim extremists, behind attack against the Grace Ministry Church
Sajid Masih, one the two men wounded in the incident, confirms this version of events. Initially, blame was placed on a fundamentalist group. A property dispute is behind the attack. Faisalabad vicar warns that yellow journalism could undermine interfaith harmony.
CHINA - VATICAN
The persecution of Catholics during the Cultural Revolution
The documentation of that violent period was burned or buried in archives. Only a few survivors speak. The persecutors are silent in fear. The burning of religious objects and furnishings in Hebei. Bishops humiliated and arrested in Henan; nuns beaten with sticks and killed, or buried alive. A persecution that "is not over yet"; Today it is perhaps only more subtle.
Silence shrouds 50th anniversary of Cultural Revolution in China and in the West
The bloody campaign launched by Mao Zedong killed nearly 2 million people and sent a further 4 million to concentration camps. Every Chinese has been marked by fear. But today, no memorial service has been planned and no newspaper article has appeared. The Party’s internal struggles and Xi Jinping’s fear of ending up like the USSR. Even today, as then, there are those in Europe who keep quiet and laud the myth of China. Many are predicting a return to the "great chaos".
17/05/2016 CHINA - VATICAN
23/05/2016 VATICAN - ISLAM
AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!
AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.