Pakistan Reverses Its Decision to Close Down House Churches for “Security Reasons”

ICC Note:

The Pakistani government in northwestern Pakistan has decided to reverse its decision to shut down house churches for “security reasons”. Last weekend, security forces closed down a number of house churches in Abbottabad claiming that they were unable to provide security against attacks. Christian places of worship have become prime targets for terrorist organizations in Pakistan. In December, Bethel Memorial Methodist Church became the latest target of the terrorists. Two suicide bombers connected to ISIS attacked the church, killing nine and injuring dozens more. Fortunately, through negotiation, local church leaders were able to convince security forces to reopen the house churches earlier this week.  

02/02/2018 Pakistan (Premier) – Authorities in north-west Pakistan have made a U-turn on their decision to shut down house churches for “security reasons”.

According to Christian charity Barnabus Fund, local officials in Abbottabad demanded that six house churches be closed because of alleged security threats in mid-January.

Arshad Nayer, a local pastor, had said: “Instead of providing security for the said churches, the administration has found it convenient to shut them down.”

The order triggered protests from Christians in the area.

Abbottabad is known to be a hub for jihadists. The charity said the area is near where Osama Bin Laden was found to have spent years hiding.

Earlier this week, the provincial government overturned its decision to force the closure of the churches.

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