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Pakistan: Christians forced to remove the cross from a church under construction after threats by local Muslims

Persecution of Christians in Pakistan: in this case, the church’s pastor says: “Although it was an illegal demand against Pakistan’s constitution, which guarantees religious freedom to all citizens…We took this decision for the safety and protection of Christians in the village.”

The tiny community of Orthodox faithful in Pakistan is no less vulnerable to this kind of attack. The ongoing mistreatment of Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan is an issue of immense importance that nevertheless still receives scant attention from the UN or international human rights organizations.

Please continue to pray that the Christian community in Pakistan will be able to endure this martyrdom and experience a resurrection, and that relief will come to this courageous and long-suffering Christian community.

For previous ChristianPersecution.com coverage of the persecution of Christians in Pakistan, see here.

“Christianity crackdown: Crosses forcibly removed…,” by Dylan Donnelly, Express, July 17, 2020:

…A village near Baloki was forced to remove the cross from a church under construction after threats by local Muslims. Baloki is 40 miles away from Lahore, the capital city of the Punjab province. Reports of the Christian persecution spread across social media.

Barnabas, a Christian resident of the village, explained the shocking events in a video.

He said: “We constructed three floors of minarets on a church and fixed the cross on top of that. “However, it was removed after we received threats from local Muslims.

“The Muslims demanded we remove the cross and all three floors of the minarets, therefore, we had to obey them.

“Now, the building does not look like a church….

Local pastor Ilyas said they agreed to remove the cross “with broken hearts”.

He added: “Although it was an illegal demand against Pakistan’s constitution, which guarantees religious freedom to all citizens.

The authorities must look into this matter and ensure freedom of religion to all the segments of society.”

“We will fix a cross on the church wall.

“We took this decision for the safety and protection of Christians in the village.

“Muslims threatened that if we don’t remove the cross, they will ban the prayer services and take the church property.”…

Open Doors, a non-profit group protecting Christians, ranked Pakistan as the world’s fifth worst country for extreme religious persecution of Christians.

Global Human Rights Defence, a charity against mistreatment of minorities, said that Pakistan’s Christians and Hindus are subject to discrimination regularly.

GHRD’s 2019 report on human rights violations said: “For decades members of religious minorities in Pakistan have been treated as separate and unequal citizens.

“The constitution and laws of this Islamic Republic are interpreted as preferential towards Muslims.“

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