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Another Church Attack Demonstrates How Religious Freedom is Under Siege in Pakistan

05/16/2018 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – The state of religious freedom in Pakistan remains adverse in spite of provisions written in the Pakistani constitution. Article 20 of Pakistan’s constitution guarantees the freedom to profess religion and to manage religious institutions. Yet, Pakistan was still ranked 10th in the world in 2015 in terms of the greatest social hostilities involving religion. In its recent report, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom 2018 stated, “The government of Pakistan has not addressed the spread of sectarian or religiously motivated intolerant speech and has not prosecuted perpetrators of violent crimes against religious minorities.”

In yet another incident of religious intolerance, unidentified vandals set an under-construction church named Gospel of Jesus Mission ablaze in Paracha Colony, Shahdra town, Lahore on the afternoon of April 15, 2018. The altar, pulpit, dozens of Christian books, carpets, pedestal fans, plastic chairs, tables, wall clock, wooden crosses, tarpaulin, handmade fans, and worship instruments were desecrated and burnt to ashes.

While speaking with International Christian Concern (ICC), Pastor Yousaf Aziz John said, “We started constructing this church about three years ago and [are] still collecting small donations for it. We had erected walls of the church and used it for church services. It has no roof, however, [the] community’s commitment is appreciable for their love for Christ.

For last couple of years, we have been using tarpaulin for half of the total yard of the church,” John added.

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