ASIA/PAKISTAN - Christian Protestant Church burned in Punjab

Monday, 11 January 2016 violence   religious minorities   islam   local churches  

Lahore (Agenzia Fides) - After a dispute between a group of Christians and Muslims, in the village of Bath, between Multan and Lahore, in Pakistani Punjab, the chapel of the Protestant Christian congregation called "Apostolic Church" was set on fire in the night between 6 and 7 January, as local sources report to Fides. On the evening of January 6, the community had organized a prayer vigil for the Epiphany. The following evening an arson destroyed the inner part of the building. Pastor Zulfiqar, who leads the community, went to the police and filed a complaint against unknown persons. The fire burned Bibles and sacred vessels. The Pastor informed the agents of the dispute which also occurred earlier, which involved loudspeakers used to spread prayers and hymns outside the building: a group of Muslims asked to turn them off during the Islamic prayer. Local Christians put the dispute and the destruction of the church in close correlation, but for now there is no evidence in this regard and the police investigation is underway. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 11/01/2016)