A church in Pakistan has been attacked by a group of Muslims.
They entered Trinity Pentecostal Church in Kala Shah Kaku, just outside Lahore, on the morning of 9th May, before reportedly shouting at Christians to get out and threatening to set them on fire.
According to the Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS), the group of men claimed that the land belonged to them and began demolishing the church courtyard gate and the boundary wall. Then they attacked the centrepiece of the santuary - the cross. After desecrating as many holy symbols as they could, the group then threatened all those in attendance. A police report has since been filed.
Nasir Saeed, Director of CLAAS-UK said: “It is sad that attacks on churches continue even during the COVID-19 pandemic, because hatred against Christians continues to rise and the Government has no plans at all to protect the religious minorities and their places of worship.”
CLAAS highlighted an attack that occurred last month against a local pastor, his wife and their 15-year-old son, who were set upon by their Muslim neighbour for building a wall on their own land. The neighbour had already built his own house on the family's land, wrongly believing it belonged to him. As is often the case, the Islamic community hold sway with the local police departments making things even more difficult for the Christian minority.
CLAAS added: "The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has already pointed out in its latest report that religious minorities in Pakistan, including the Hindu and Christian communities, continued to suffer in 2019, facing forced conversions and persecution under blasphemy laws.
"The minorities remained unable to enjoy the freedom of religion or belief guaranteed to them under the country’s Constitution, the HRCP had said in its annual report – State of Human Rights 2019 – released recently in Islamabad."