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ICC Note: As a group of Muslims sought to destroy a church in Pakistan, members of the church tried to stop them. As tensions turned more violent, the mob of angry Muslims began beating the Christian members of the church and chased them into their homes which they threatened to burn down. Eventually the mob dispersed and authorities were contacted.

09/07/18 Pakistan (ACLJ) – Tensions turned violent as a group of Muslims sought to demolish a Christian church in Pakistan. Babu Sarfraz, Bashir Masih, along with several other men from the church met with our affiliate in Pakistan, the Organization for Legal Aid (OLA), to discuss the incident as well as the reason for the conflict. Sarfraz informed the OLA that St. Matthew’s Catholic Church had been constructed by local villagers and on land that the church owned, but that the ownership of some of the land is disputed.

On May 21, 2018, this dispute led Razzak Ahmed, Mushtaq, Shahzad Hussain, along with roughly ten other Muslim men to bring a crane in order to destroy the church. The Christians present managed to call the authorities and prevent the destruction of the church until police arrived. The Christians then went to the Civil Court in Kasur and the court found that the property would remain in the possession of the Christians until a hearing could be held.

While the next hearing was set for September 19, 2018, the aforementioned Muslims again attempted to tear the church down. Armed with clubs and other weapons, a group of fifteen to twenty Muslims once again brought a crane, but were stopped by the Christians who told them that the court had ordered that the status quo be maintained and, as a result, prevented the Muslims from taking possession of the land. Ignoring the Christians, the Muslims called for more people to join them until there were almost sixty Muslims who began to beat the Christians.

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