Monday, November 5, 2012

Pakistan: Historic Church Burned Down by Muslims

by Saman Ataurehman

The attackers brought kerosine oil and guns. The security provided was not enough to stop the armed men.
On September 21, 2012 a mob of several hundred Muslim men attacked a church compound in the city of Mardan, near Khyber Paktunkhwa.

The church, built in the 1900s, was burned while Muslims were protesting a film that carried material reportedly objectionable to Islam.

The mob broke through the main gate of the Church compound and set on fire St. Paul's Sarhadi Church, St. Paul's high school, the library, a computer laboratory and houses of four clergymen. The mob also damaged and set alight a car and three motorcycles. Zeeshan Chand, 17, the son of one of the clergymen, was beaten by the mob and had to be hospitalized.

According to the treasurer of the Northern Diocese Church of Pakistan, Rev. Binyameen Barkat, "We were under threats of such attacks since last week and had requested the local administration to provide security to the Church property, which they did; however it was not enough to stop the aggressive armed men".

The attackers brought kerosene oil and guns. They damaged the door, windows and stoned the Church. The mob desecrated the alter, tore up copies of Bibles, prayer books and later set everything on fire, he said.

"We immediately called the fire brigades, however the mob stoned [them] and did not allow the firefighters to enter the Church compound" he added.

Saman Ataurehman


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