Government Closes Unregistered House Churches in Pakistan for Security Reasons

ICC Note:

The government in Pakistan’s Punjab province has decided to close down unregistered house churches for security reasons. The police towards unregistered house churches in Pakistan is still being decided at the national level, but several churches in Abbottabad were closed last week. Authorities claim they are unable to provide proper security to these unregistered house churches, putting them at risk of terrorist attack. While the government may be acting in the name of security now, will this reasoning be used in the future to close down more churches, registered and unregistered alike? 

01/19/2018 Pakistan (Christians in Pakistan) – It has been decided in the Punjab province that all unregistered house churches will be closed. The implementation criteria are still being viewed. Last week, house churches were closed in Abbottabad. These churches were established in the rental houses and closed due to a threat alert in the area.

After the closure of churches in Abbottabad, a survey was conducted to list out unregistered churches in Pakistan. Afterwards, the government discussed this matter with the Christian leaders who showed a positive attitude in this regard and agreed with the government decision of closing churches in the country for security reasons.

Later the government also decided to close certain churches which are unregistered or established in rental houses as ‘house church’ in Pakistan. According to sources, the strategy for closing churches all over Pakistan is yet under discussion.

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