Prayer Service Targeted by Pakistani Police
07/13/2020 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – On June 23, a Christian prayer service was attacked by the police in Youhanabad, a Christian neighborhood in Lahore, Pakistan.
“A priest was leading a prayer before providing a free meal for the poor when police officers appeared, and without further notice, they started damaging the stuff for prayer service.” Raja Walter, a victim and social activist, told International Christian Concern (ICC), “Policemen turned down the meal, thrashed the pastor and people present. They captured the small sound-system, and beat men and women”.
Walter was also the organizer of the event and he was later arrested, prompting residents of Youhanabad to protest against the police. A group gathered in front of the local police station. Demonstrators chanted slogans against police brutality and demanded religious freedom.
Walter had also organized a free charity meal for Muslims during Ramadan, a month of fasting and prayer for Muslims. However, he decided to continue serving the poor with a free lunch due to the COVID-19 crisis.
“We use a small set of amplifiers to keep the gathering in order.” Walter said, “We follow the instructions of the government and keep social distance among the participants. Since most of our guests and worshipers are Christian, we start the meal with prayer and hymns”.
“Although we have reached reconciliation with the local police and I have forgiven them in the name of Jesus Christ, we demand religious freedom and the protection of Christians as per guaranteed in Pakistan’s constitution,” Walter urged.
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