Christians in Lahore, Pakistan, have launched a campaign to “save” their churches amid fears they could be destroyed by officials to make way for an underground metro line.
Worshippers took to the streets after rumours emerged that the country’s Islamist government was planning to seize and destroy four historic places of worship during the construction process.
The four churches concerned – Cathedral Church, Noulakha Church, St Andrew’s Church and St Paul’s Presbyterian Church – are all in Lahore, where a Taliban bombing at a playground in Lahore on Easter Sunday killed 69 Christians.
Parishioners risked potential violence and arrest as they took to the streets to fight for their churches, holding aloft banners and chanting “we don’t give an inch of our holy places” and “we want our rights”.
Officials insist that the places of worship, all of which lie directly on the path of the new underground line, will not be harmed in any way by the project and denied accusations they are planning to seize and destroy the buildings.
But, despite the reassurances, campaigners have expressed extreme reservations about the government’s intentions, given its dire record on protecting Christians.
The Lahore Development Authority has issued a statement attempting to clarify the situation and calm nerves about the possible futures of the churches. However, a spokesman admitted some church land would be seized to house equipment during the construction process and to make room for stairs down to a Metro station, but insisted that the churches themselves “will not be affected by the project”.
The plans have been greeted with fury by the Pakistan Christian Congress, which said they would “create a law and order situation for Christian worshippers … when thousands of Muslim passengers will get down from the train during prayers.”
Many Christians in Pakistan feel they have been abandoned to their fates at the hands of Islamist maniacs by ministers who have no intention of protecting members of minority religions.
- Pray for Christians in Lahore who have been targets of vicious attacks this year. Pray that these churches will be protected, and Christians can continue to gather together and worship in peace.
- Pray for Christians across Pakistan, as they continue to battle for their right to worship with freedom and without fear.
- Pray for the Pakistan government to listen to Christians and seek to protect them and their rights to freedom of belief.
- Pray for protection for Pakistan Christians, and for a move of the Holy Spirit over this land, for many Muslims to have life changing encounters with Jesus Christ and come to know His truth and life.
Psalm 107 vs 28 – 29: “Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out from their distress; he made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.“
Source: http://www.express.co.uk/news/world, http://www.persecution.org/2016