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    » 02/23/2012, 00.00

    PAKISTAN

    Faisalabad: Islamic extremists attack Christian community, two faithful injured



    Grace Ministry Church targeted by fundamentalists for allegedly proselytizing. A Muslim family living in the area reports community. One person risks arm amputation from bullet wounds, a second thrown from the roof of the building.

    Faisalabad (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A dozen armed Muslims stormed the Grace Ministry Church in Faisalabad, seriously wounding two Christians. Sajid Masih was hit by bullets and is in critical condition in hospital, the man risks having his amputated arm. Another member of the Protestant community, Boota Masih, was pushed from the roof - a height of about six meters - after being struck repeatedly with a rifle butt. The extremist raid was sparked by charges that church was trying to evangelize Muslims in an attempt to convert them to Christianity. The community several times in the past has been the subject of assault and the pastor and his family the subject of death threats.

    Sources of Pakistan Christian Post reported that Sajid (pictured) and Boota were transported to hospital for a delicate operation, which lasted over four hours. Doctors have removed a bullet from Sajid's arm, but his condition remains serious and they may decide to amputate the arm that is at risk of gangrene. The bullet pierced the arm and is lodged in his rib.

    The attack took place at Grace Ministry Church yesterday and the Christian community is still in shock. Meanwhile, the police, instead of pursuing the perpetrators of violence, have opened an investigation against the Rev. Altaf Khan - pastor of the community - and 20 other faithful. The agents have already arrested the driver Pervaiz Masih, another Christian faithful called Nazish Nadeem, along with two guards, security officers, Rafiq Masih and Shahzad.

    The Protestant church was founded in 1987 and has recently undergone intense pressure attacks, and allegations of proselytizing. Over the past two months, says Rev. Khan, "I and my family have received death threats from extremists and terrorists." The charge of proselytism was made by the only Muslim family, who lives in the street home to the Grace Ministry Church Faisalabad. "Some Christian groups and Muslims - said the rev. Khan -jealous of our ministry have financed and supported terrorist groups in their attacks."

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    See also

    16/12/2005 PAKISTAN
    Sangla Hill prepares for Christmas in Catholic Church destroyed by Muslims

    The community is repairing the building which was attacked, to be able to celebrate Christmas there. But inter-faith tension remains high. 20 December has been earmarked as a day given over to solidarity for Christians in the affected village. The Archbishop of Lahore: if the government does not abrogate the blasphemy law, we will ask for compensation for innocent people who were condemned.  



    22/12/2005 PAKISTAN
    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.



    06/03/2006 PAKISTAN
    Killers of Catholic youth, Javed Anjum, sentenced

    Only two out of the three murderers were sentenced; they have been condemned to 25 years imprisonment. The 19-year-old boy was tortured in a bid to make him embrace Islam.



    06/04/2010 IRAQ
    Baghdad under attack, 35 dead and 140 wounded. Easter for Christians of peace in Iraq
    A series of explosions targeted several parts of the capital, causing the collapse of some buildings. A suicide bomber blew himself up in a downtown restaurant. In Kirkuk, government leaders and Muslim religious leaders attended the Easter vigil. The faithful pray for national reconciliation. Archbishop Sako: the risen Christ reminds us of the value of forgiveness.

    03/08/2010 PAKISTAN
    Sukkur, five Christians killed outside church
    A group of masked men opened fire on the faithful gathered to talk about security. Since 2008, members of extremists group threaten non-Muslims: "they pollute the land they live on and must leave."



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