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ICC Note: Five Christians in Pakistan were beaten by a mob as they tried to build a wall around their church last Sunday. The mob claimed the church did not have permission to build the wall which is what led to the dispute. Local police have decided to treat the issue as a land dispute and have done little to arrest members of the mob.

03/08/2018 Pakistan (Christian Today) – Five Christians were attacked by a mob of 20 as they tried to build a wall around their church in Pakistan on Sunday, according to the persecution website World Watch Monitor.

‘Our church elder, George Masih, who is 70, was overseeing masons and laborers who were constructing the wall. We were praying [inside the church] when we heard shouting and yelling, and, when we rushed outside, we saw about 20 men, armed with clubs and axes, [who] were beating Masih and others,’ said the pastor of the Pakistan Gospel Assemblies church in Yousufwala village, on the outskirts of the Punjabi city of Sahiwal.

The dispute is thought to center around the use of the land, which was originally set apart for communal purposes though the pastor said they had obtained permission to build the church on the land three years ago.

‘The attackers told us to stop building the wall as the land belonged to them. But we told them that this belongs to the church. At this they descended into fighting with us. Then our women tried to intervene but they too were beaten and their clothes were torn,’ the pastor, who cannot be named for security reasons, said.

Sami Minhas, chairman of the Muthida (United) Christian Movement in Sahiwal, told World Watch Monitor: ‘The incident took place during a worship service but the police are treating it as a land dispute between two parties.’

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