Pakistani bishops condemn attack on church and Christian community

.- The Justice and Peace Commission of the Pakistani Bishops’ Conference has strongly condemned new attacks on the Christian community in Sialkot, where Muslims vandalized a Catholic church.  According to the Fides news agency, the attack took place on February 3 and resulted in numerous injuries as well as the profanation of the church.

The president of the Bishops’ Conference of Pakistan, Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha, issued a statement condemning the “violence against our defenseless community” which he said was growing “because the government has failed to adopt adequate countermeasures against incidents in the past.  The most recent example is that of Sangla Hill where, 80 days after the profanation and destruction of three Christian churches, there have been no arrests of those responsible for the attacks against Christians.”

The statement also noted that “discrimination continues to be out of control” and that “places of gathering and prayer of religious minorities are attacked with impunity.”  In the wake of the recent attacks, numerous Catholic organizations and human rights groups have energetically called for respect for the rule of law and questioned the continuous false accusations and discrimination against minorities in Pakistan.

Pakistan, which has a population of 155 million, is 97% Muslim. Christians make up about 2.5%, with Catholics numbering about 1.2 million.

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