Pakistan 2012 report: 9 places of minority worship attacked

2012-12-27 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) The Pakistani Bishops Conference’s Justice and Peace Commission has reported that nine places of worship were damaged, destroyed or looted in the country this year. The report was sent to the Catholic news agency, Fides, established in 1927 by the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith with the aim of raising awareness about the Church’s missionary activities.

listen to the report:

According to the information provided to Fides, five churches, three Hindu temples and a mosque of the Islamic sect of the Ahmadi were attacked in 2012. A total of 27 places of worship of religious minorities have been object of acts of vandalism in the past four years.

Fides describes additional “cases of forced occupation of land destined as places of worship…as well as the murders of those engaged in the construction of places of worship.”

Most of the 2012 attacks were perpetrated by “unidentified men,” the agency writes, while the Punjab Police were accused of demolishing the Ahmadi mosque in Punjab.

Citing lawyers, Fides writes “weak law enforcement and lack of political will to protect the rights of minorities” lead to impunity.

Officials with the Justice and Peace Commission urge the adoption of a “specific law” similar to existing legislation for the protection of women, to safeguard minorities against acts of violence.

Earlier this December, a Swedish Christian charity worker Bargetta Almby, was killed by gunmen in Pakistan. Almby, 72, was managing director in Pakistan of Full Gospel Assemblies, a church fellowship founded in the United States.