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Christian group condemns officer that humiliated pastor

by Hannah Tooley

The Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS) is an interdenominational organisation working for Christians who are being persecuted because of their faith in Pakistan.

It has voiced concern about a pastor who was allegedly slapped by a police officer earlier in June.

Head constable Amir Abdullah is accused of walking into united church in Fazalia colony, Lahore, and slapping the pastor, Riaz Rehmat.

He is also accused of using abusive language against worshipers during the Sunday morning service on June 12th.

Police are not supposed to enter during services, other officers did not stop Amir Abdullah according to reports. 


Leader: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
Population: 192.8 million, 3.9 million Christians 
Main Religion: Islam
Government: Republic 
World Watch List Rank: 6

According to Amir Abdullah he received a call on the police helpline that claimed the church was misusing the loud speaker.

He says he then went into the church and told the leader to stop the service.
It has then been alleged that Pastor Riaz asked him not to disturb the congregation, and that the policeman walked to the pulpit and manhandled the pastor.

CLAAS's team in Pakistan met with police and action has been promised against the accused policeman and as well as the person who called the authorities, for making a false complaint.
The officer in question, Amir Abdullah, has been suspended from service and an inquiry has been launched into him.

Nasir Saeed Director CLAAS-UK said: "This is a shameful act committed by the police.

"It is not the first incident of this kind but such incidents are now continuing to grow. Last month a similar incident happened in Faisalabad.

"The police hardly care about the Christians' religious sentiments and often violate their right of religious freedom.
"In such matters the police have to be very careful as these such incidents can create devastation."

Mr Saeed added that humiliating the religious leadership cannot be tolerated at any cost.

"If there is a complaint against them that has to be fully investigated before taking any legal action against them."

He has asked that the case is registered under the terrorist act for terrorising the priest as well as the congregation.

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