Pakistan Police Shut Down Church in Muslim-Majority Village, Now Forcing Members to Demolish It

Police in Pakistan’s Punjab province have told 40 Christian families in a Muslim-majority village to demolish their church, six months after forcing them to sign a pledge saying they will no longer hold services there.

The Christians, most of them brick-kiln laborers, haven’t been able to hold a worship service in their church in Nayya Sarabah village in Toba Tek Singh district near Faisalabad, since last December, according to World Watch Monitor.

A Muslim villager, identified as Hajji Muhammad Siddique, was quoted as saying that a church cannot be allowed in a Muslim-majority village, and that the local administration is working on providing a piece of land to Christians outside the village.

“When it is done, we will make the Christians write an agreement that they will sell this current church building or at least dismantle the church structure and crosses,” Siddique added.

On June 2, a senior police official allegedly told the Christians to demolish their church.

“We are being forced to demolish the existing church structure and, in lieu of this, they would let us build a church on a piece of government land outside the village which is already dedicated for a school,” a church member was quoted as saying. “They haven’t even given any documentary proof that this piece of land would be transferred to Christians. Then another issue is that we worked for several years to construct this church building. Now who is going to pay for building from scratch?”

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Source: Christian Post