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Pakistan: Church Property Illegally Occupied During COVID-19 Pandemic

Persecution of Christians in Pakistan: here, the occupation of church property took place while “the police have not taken action against Raisat [the perpetrator] or his illegal possession of the church property.” Even worse, “Raisat and other Muslims in the village have threatened the Christians with ‘dire consequences’ if they persist in trying to reclaim the church property.” 

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.

“Church Property Illegally Occupied in Pakistan During COVID-19 Pandemic,” International Christian Concern, May 26, 2020:

05/26/2020 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – Earlier this month, a church in Batala Sharn Singh village, located in the Punjab province of Pakistan, had its boundary wall demolished and property illegally occupied. According to local Christians, the Muslim man now occupying the church property is attempting to use the COVID-19 pandemic to his advantage to steal the land.

In May, Pastor Ashiq Matoo, pastor of the occupied church, uploaded a video on social media claiming that Chaudhry Raisat, a local Muslim, was attempting to steal the land of his church. Pastor Matoo reported that Raisat had demolished the church’s boundary wall and had illegally extended his home into the church yard.

The leadership of the church reported the incident to police. However, the police have not taken action against Raisat or his illegal possession of the church property. Instead, Raisat and other Muslims in the village have threatened the Christians with “dire consequences” if they persist in trying to reclaim the church property.

According to Pastor Matoo, the church was built in 2005 and remains the only worship center for some 50 Christian families in Batala Sharn Singh. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the national lockdown that followed, the church has remained closed since late March. Pastor Matoo suspects Raisat is taking advantage of the pandemic by “grabbing” the property as the church remains empty….

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