Rescuing and serving persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

Muslims Demolish Three Christians’ Houses in Pakistani Village

By Sheraz Khurram Khan
11/1/07 PAKISTAN (ANS) — Muslim residents of a Pakistani village demolished the homes of three Christians recently.

The Muslims, residents of a Pakistani village in the province of Punjab, claimed that the Christians had constructed their houses on a land which had been allocated for a Muslim graveyard.

Police, who arrived at the scene after an unidentified caller called them, arrested a number of Muslims who were demolishing the Christians’ homes.

James Masih, a Christian resident of the village, told the Sharing Life Ministry that some Muslims compounded the issue by making an announcement on Oct. 19 after Friday prayers through the village mosque’s loudspeaker.

About 80 Muslims riding tractors and other vehicles headed to the Christians’ houses. The alleged perpetrators, most of whom were allegedly armed with weapons, then started demolishing the homes. They also allegedly desecrated Christians literature.

According to the Sharing Life Ministry, the Muslim residents of the village claimed that the Christians had constructed houses on the land which was assigned for their graveyard. The Christian residents of the village, however, told the ministry that they were the legal owners of the land that had been given to them by former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in 1995.

Ministry official Sohail Johnson told ASSIST that while the mosque announcement “helps” Muslim perpetrators, it magnifies greatly the potential damage to the Christians. He was referring to the emotional reaction that such an announcement evokes from Muslims. Christians have been living in the Lobana village for 35 years, Johnson said.

Johnson said he had been told by a Christian lady, “Muslims threatened to raze our houses after they have served their terms in prison. They are very powerful people. They often brandish their weapons and open fire into the air and that leaves our kids scared.”

Some Muslim residents of the village told Sharing Life Ministry that they also condemned the destruction of Christian-owned houses by Muslims.

At the time of Pakistan’s 1947 independence, there were over 50 Christian villages but their number decreased considerably over the years as Christians sold their lands. Christian villagers in predominantly Muslim villages are mostly landless, and often face persecution by Muslim landowners.