03/22/2007, 00.00
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Christian inmates protest against the demolition of “their” Church

In Adiala Jail, Christian inmates have been protesting the demolition of the church and of their lack of rights to perform religious rituals. The other minorities support the protest. The administration of the jail denies everything, but external groups backup the protest.
Rawalpindi (AsiaNews/Agenzie) – Over 300 inmates continued a protest for the third consecutive day at the Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, against the demolition of a church on the jail’s grounds. They are also protesting the prohibition of performing their religious rituals. Over 150 Christians are detained in the prison, which are determined to pursue the protest until the administration of the jail allows them to fulfill their religious duties.
Shahid Saleem Baig, superintendent of the institute, told the newspaper the Daily Times that there are no churches on the prison’s grounds and that the only obstacle for the Christians to perform their religious functions consists of the overcrowding of the jail.
But the Christian inmates, confirmed also by inmates who belong to other minorities, insists the administration treats them in an “irresponsible and discriminatory” manner.
Shahbaz Bhati, Chairman All Pakistan Minorities Alliance, criticized the jail authorities for banning Christian inmates from performing their religious rituals.
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