11/25/2015, 00.00
PAKISTAN

Karachi, masked men set Christian television station on fire

by Jibran Khan
Arson attack occurred at 2.30am local time. Gawahi TV was born three years ago from donations of Catholics and Protestants to "spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to people of all faiths." The station was destroyed by the flames. The broadcaster had received threats but the authorities had denied any security measures.

Karachi (AsiaNews) - A group of masked men set fire to Christian broadcaster Gawahi TV Karachi overnight. The building collapsed due to the fire. According to employees, the arson attack occurred at 2.30am (local time), and the men were seen as they fled from the place, having set fire to the entire complex.

Gawahi television was established in February 2013 in a joint collaboration  between Catholic and Protestant communities, to "spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to people of all religions who live in Pakistan." The channel broadcasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As reported by the television website, about 12 million people watched it on a regular basis.

The station management had denounced past threats and despite many requests, police and authroities did not provide the necessary security. Some members of the Catholic Church, including several priests, visited the scene of the fire, expressing disappointment at what happened. Fr. John Arif, of the Diocese of Karachi, said: "It was disheartening to see the entire building and all equipment burned. The channel was set up to communicate the word of God. There have been threats and now the matter is under investigation. We hope to soon see the channel on air again. We pray for peace and tolerance. "

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