News: Village Church set on Fire in Pakistan

Posted on September 17, 2009. Filed under: News | Tags: , , , , |

Hundreds of Christians narrowly escaped with their lives on September 11th, when extremists went on a rampage in Jethki village in the Sialkot district of Punjab Province.  Armed with bricks, stones and sticks, they sprinkled kerosene on the church before setting it ablaze and desecrating it. The mob also carried out an arson attack on two Christian homes next to the church and threatened to kill the inhabitants of the village.  Apparently, the violence started with immense anger when an 18-year-old Muslim girl got involved in a romance with a 19-year-old Christian young man.

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari condemned the attacks and pledged government funds to repair the church. Meanwhile, the 19-year-old man at the center of the crisis is being detained in prison while police investigate the incident. He is not being named for security reasons.

“We are actually glad that the 19-year-old boy is in jail at the moment at least there he will be safe. It means he won’t be killed by the fanatic Muslims,” Father Andrew Nisari, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Lahore said  “Although the church is still standing, it is completely burnt inside the altar, the statues, the pews, the priest’s chair, Bibles and other religious books. The whole church is now totally unusable.”

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