On 23 July, Internal Salvation Church, a church located in Bhiki village in the Sheikhupura district of Punjab, was attacked by a mob of Muslim men. According to local reports, these men barged into the church during a prayer service and beat several members of the congregation.
Javaid David, Chairman of the Hope for Light, an NGO based in Pakistan, reported the incident to International Christian Concern (ICC). “There were over a hundred of individuals praying in the church when Muhammad Azam, Muhammad Ijaz, Muhammad Amjad and Muhammad Zafar, along with other armed Muslim men, intruded into the church,” David reported. “They forcefully seized the prayer service and reportedly thrashed both men and women.”
David also reported that abusive language was used against the members of the church during the attack. He explained that the attackers demanded the Christians “stop this circus” and proceeded to speak ill of Christianity and of Jesus Christ.
Christians from Bhiki have reportedly submitted a complaint to the local police station to register a First Information Report against the assailants. However, the application was rejected by the police officers.
“There has been a sharp rise in the number of incidents violating the religious freedom rights of Christians in Pakistan,” David went onto explain. “Their churches are being attacked, properties are being grabbed, forced to stop their prayer services and other church activities, and are forced to convert to Islam. This is alarming for Christians in this country.”
Source: International Christian Concern
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