Armed mob attacks Christian church

Four vandals tie up the caretaker and desecrate the building. The police ensure full cooperation. Father Khalid Rasheed Asi: “The perpetrators wanted to sow panic, but we must remain calm and continue to pray.”

Okara (AsiaNews) – “They threw the Holy Eucharist out of the tabernacle and scattered and dishonored the holy books”. These are the words of Younus Masih Gill, a member of Saint-Camille de Lellis church after a group of armed men kidnapped and tied up the sexton and desecrated the religious building in Okara, a town 100 km from Faisalabad (Punjab).

Guardian Allahditta Masih said AsiaNews that on January 23, he was inside the church when around 10:30 p.m. “four armed men stood in front of the gate and asked me to come out, otherwise they would shoot me”.

They tied him up with ropes, beat him, and then locked him up. Nadeem Faisal, one of the neighborhood residents, called the police. When they arrived, they freed Allahditta and collected evidence.

Pastor Khalil Maqsood and Father Khalid Rasheed Aasi, director of the National Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic Church, presented the first information report to Saddar police station, demanding a detailed investigation.

Younus Masih Gill also filed charges against unidentified persons and said “people do not feel safe after the incident, which has disturbed the peace of the community”. Father Khalid Rasheed Asi condemned the vandalism and appealed to the faithful for calm: “The perpetrators wanted to sow panic, but we must remain calm and continue to pray that no one can harm our union,” the priest explained. “The police assured us of their full cooperation with the church and said they would arrest the perpetrators soon.

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