Open Doors reports

Pakistan - Mob Confess To Church Attack

Muslims have apologised for attacking a church last month in Pakistan's Punjab region, but they offered no compensation for injuring Christians and damaging the building. Seven Christians were wounded at the Salvation Army Church in Chak 248, a village 20 miles north of Faisalabad.

"We are sorry and promise this will not happen in future," Faizur Rehman, one of 41 Muslims originally accused of attacking the church on 17 June, said in a 28 June notarised affidavit.

"The Christian people have forgiven them," lawyer Khalil Tahir Sindhu, legal representative for the Christian community, told reporters after attending the 28 June meeting between the Christian and Muslim groups, arbitrated by 12 local Christian and Muslim politicians. He said both parties had dropped court cases in which each accused the other of instigating violence.

The mob stormed Chak 248's lone church with guns, axes and wooden sticks at 5.00pm on 17 June, a Sunday, only one hour before the start of an evangelistic meeting. Christians inside the building fought back but were unable to prevent many of the congregation's Bibles and hymn books being destroyed.

This is just the latest event in an ongoing saga against a complicated and emotionally charged background. In light of the highly charged atmosphere surrounding 'blasphemy' and with Muslim extremists enraged over the government's crackdown on Islamabad's Red Mosque, Mr Sindhu said the out-of-court settlement in Chak 248, though unfair, was prudent.

Please continue to pray for Pakistan and its people who live in the midst of unrest. Pray for the Government as they strive to deal with the religious issues they face with fairness and pray for the Church in Pakistan that they would live as witnesses of Jesus and display His character. CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.