Pakistan: Okara residents allegedly vandalize under-construction church

LAHORE: Residents of Okara district allegedly vandalised an under-construction church and desecrated a cross, The Express Tribune has learnt on Tuesday.

The Christian residents in the district started construction of the church on a two-kanal piece of land owned by one of their community members.

Only a day after they had installed a cross on the partially constructed building, a group of local Muslims — allegedly over political differences – damaged the building and the land by ploughing the ground with the help of a tractor.

Javed Iqbal Masih — one of the Christian residents — told The Express Tribune that despite repeated requests, the group of 10 people damaged the building first with their hands and later with a tractor in the presence of local Christians.

Investigation officer Muhammad Javed said that police have registered an FIR under section 295-A and 506-B of Pakistan Penal Code against ten people for damaging the church and defaming the cross. He said police were raiding different areas to arrest the accused.

While speaking to The Express Tribune, Human Liberation Commission Pakistan chairperson Aslam Parvaiz Sahotra said the Christian community was not protected in Pakistan and that they face discrimination at every level.