A Muslim man in Pakistan has been arrested after he climbed up on a cross about 40ft high, fixed at the entrance of One In Christ Church in Lahore and shouted “Allahu Akbar".
Church founder, Rt Rev Dr. Mukhtar M. Waqas told Christian charity Centre for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS) had just finished the Morning Prayer service when he heard some noises.
“When I came out, there was already a gathering in front of our church and they were all looking towards the cross over the church, where one man was sitting on the cross, shouting loudly “Allahu Akbar", “Allahu Akbar", and shaking the cross with full force. It looked like he was trying to pull it to the ground,” Rev Dr Mukhtarsaid.
The man, called Muhammad Bilal, failed to take the cross down and jumped down when he saw people gathering.
“He was injured but tried to escape from the scene with his two friends, but I blocked their way,” Rev Dr continued. “It seems like it was a pre-planned activity. I told them that I cannot allow you to leave until the police come.”
The police then arrested Bilal but he was later released after intervention from local authorities, according to Rev Mukhtar.
He continued: “After the incident the local Christian community is fearful, I am scared too and for the protection of the congregation and the local Christian community, I have asked for police security. I hope the police will investigate the matter as soon as possible and impartially, so no such thing happens ever again in this area, it is too scary to imagine the consequences.”
Christians are often persecuted and attacked in Pakistan. The nation currently ranks eighth on Open Door’s persecution watchlist.