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08/20/2020 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – On August 17, a group of armed men led by Sarfraz Bhatti, Jabbar Bhatti, and Riaz Bhatti forcibly occupied a 70-year-old Christian graveyard in Bugari village, located in the Kasur district of Pakistan’s Punjab province. In the process of occupying the graveyard, the group reportedly desecrated many of the graveyard’s Christian symbols.

According to eyewitnesses, dozens of Muslims armed with guns entered the Christian graveyard and desecrated graves, Christian crosses, and Biblical verses written on walls and tombstones. The men then constructed a wall dividing the graveyard in half.

Qaiser Masih, a local Christian, told International Christian Concern (ICC), “Over 100 Christian families reside in the village. We have remains of our forefathers in this graveyard. However, influential Muslims have grabbed a big portion of the graveyard.

They have grabbed the land to use for their cattle,” Masih explained. “The Christians had no courage to stop the armed men as they were ready to open fire if the Christians resisted.

According to Masih, authorities have not provided any assistance to the Christians of Bugari and the land remains occupied.

Very soon the land grabbers will occupy the remaining part of the graveyard,” Masih concluded. “We cannot fight as we are the poor segment of the society. Therefore, the authorities must ensure protection of Christians and their properties.

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected].