21 October, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 03/28/2011
PAKISTAN - UNITED STATES
Two Christians killed, churches burned: extremists respond to Florida Koran burning
by Jibran Khan
In Hyderabad and Lahore, a mob of Islamic fundamentalists targeted the Christian places of worship. Desecrated several copies of the Bible. Anti-American slogans and demonstrations in different cities of Pakistan. The extremists pledge more violence, if Washington does not condemn pastor Jones to death. Bishop of Islamabad: the gesture of a "fanatic."

Islamabad (AsiaNews) - Two believers killed, churches attacked, copies of the Bible burned: the Christian community in Pakistan is once again the victim of violence by Islamic fundamentalists, who have targeted places of worship in the country. The extremist violence was triggered by the insane act - repeatedly condemned by Christians in Pakistan and India – of the pastor Wayne Sapp, who last March 20, in Florida burned a Koran under the supervision of the evangelical preacher Terry Jones. The escalating violence has raised alarm over the fate of Asia Bibi, a symbol of the abuses committed in the name of the blasphemy law. The bishop of Islamabad / Rawalpindi defines the US pastor a "fanatic" who encourages followers to a "violent ideology", the consequences of which have an impact "on innocent Christians" across the world.

On March 25, a mob of Islamic extremists attacked a Pentecostal church in Hyderabad, killing two Christians and burning some copies of the Bible. Eyewitnesses said that the fundamentalists stormed the place of worship looking to set it on fire, but a group of believers defended the church. Security forces have fled the scene, leaving those present at the mercy of the crowd. The attackers hurled anti-Christian slogans and a feeling of anger toward the religious minority has spread. in the city The pastor of the church reports that "despite the condemnation of the burning of the Koran" the community "has come under attack because they think that we are linked to the Americans." He emphasizes that "we are Pakistanis, who were born in this land and we do not have any kind of relationship with the United States." "What fault did those two innocent people have – he ends - who were not Americans, but only Pakistani Christians?".

In a second incident, the Full Gospel Assembly Church, in the Badami Bagh area of Lahore, was attacked. Again fundamentalists burned the church, threw copies of the Bible into the street and accused the Christians of blasphemy, claiming they found pieces of the Koran, not far from the church. During the attack some security guards were injured.

Meanwhile, the weekend demonstrations were repeated against the burning of the Koran wanted by Pastor Terry Jones in different cities of Pakistan - among other Peshawar, Lahore and Islamabad. The demonstrators, who burned his picture and chanted slogans and chants against the United States, called for the death of U.S. preacher. Extremists also threatened reprisals and other targeted attacks against Christians, if the U.S. government fails to take action against Pastor Jones.

The Pakistani Christian community, however, in a show of support with Muslims, condemns, and demonstrates against the burning of the Koran. Catholic priest Fr. Anwar Patras, said that Christians are first of all Pakistanis, "we were born in this land and we will be buried here, we have no connection with Pastor Terry Jones and his sick ideas." Condemning the attack, the religious priest shows sympathy for the two Christians killed "and reiterates that" the community is in danger”.

Recent violence has raised the alert level around Asia Bibi, the 45 year old Christian mother of five children, sentenced to death based on the "black law" and in prison, pending appeal. The Masih Foundation reports that "despite security measures" adopted in the cell, the woman is in danger. "She cannot eat prison food - continue the activists - but ingredients are provided to cook her own food, she prays and fasts for her own sake and for the current situation in Pakistan. The Catholic Church has asked for special prayers for her.

Interviewed by AsiaNews, Mgr. Rufin Anthony, bishop of Islamabad / Rawalpindi, said that "Christian doctrine teaches tolerance and love," the U.S. minister is a "fanatic" promoting "a sick ideology." The prelate accused the American preacher of ignoring "the scope of his actions" and now Pakistani Christians "live with greater fear because his actions worsened our situation." "There are examples of threats to churches and Bibles burned in some areas - concluded Msgr. Anthony - now innocent Christians will face the consequences. "

e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
04/07/2011 PAKISTAN
Asia Bibi gravely ill, fears for her life, after three months in solitary isolation
by Jibran Khan
04/02/2011 AFGHANISTAN - PAKISTAN
Mazar-i-Sharif, UN attacked: 20 dead. Links to the Florida Koran burning
09/08/2010 IRAQ
Iraqi Christians also condemn Qur‘an burning, says Kirkuk archbishop
09/07/2010 AFGHANISTAN
For Petraeus, burning the Qur‘an is useless and dangerous
01/26/2011 PAKISTAN
Pakistani Christians: day of fasting and prayer for the release of Asia Bibi
by Jibran Khan

Editor's choices
IRAQ - ITALY
Almost 700,000 euros raised as the 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' campaign continues
by Bernardo CervelleraA second instalment is sent with funds raised in September. The fate of East-West relations is being played out in the Middle East and Iraq. Pope Francis and the Synod issue an appeal. Governments are lukewarm. Aid is coming from around the world. A new international community is defeating the "globalisation of indifference."
IRAQ-VATICAN
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul": Archbishops’ thanks as first aid arrives
by Amel NonaMsgr. Amel Nona, the Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, who is also a refugee himself, thanks all the donors to the AsiaNews campaign. The situation is increasingly difficult given the huge number of refugees and the arrival of winter and snow, making outdoor shelters and tents impossible. The crisis, an occasion that activates the faith of Christians.
ITALY - IRAQ
After raising € 350,000, 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' campaign continues
by Bernardo CervelleraDonations raised up to 31 August have been sent to the patriarch of Baghdad and the bishops of Kurdistan. The campaign helps to feed, house, clothe, and bring comfort to more than 150,000 Christian, Yazidi, Turkmen, Shia and Sunni refugees who fled the violence of the army of the Islamic Caliphate. People in Italy and around the world have been generous, including the poor and the unemployed, a sign of hope for the world as well as those who suffer and those who give.

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.