|Christians in the Pentecostal church at Essa Nagri|
Many of our articles have featured Essa Nagri, the Christian slum area in Karachi. This is a community under siege. Last month on 18th October a group of Taliban terrorists attacked and desecrated a Pentecostal church, firing gun shots in the air to keep Christians from coming to put a stop to their activity. Church windows were smashed, the donations box was looted and about £269 stolen, and bibles and hymn books were desecrated - taken out, torn and trampled and danced upon. (So many attacks go on Essa Nagri that in researching this story we found we appear to have missed a story in June about another two attacks on churches in Essa Nagri, when a Seventh Day Adventist church and St Luke's church were attacked. A Christian called Aftab Bhatti was shot in the leg trying to defend the Adventist church.)
The attack happened on a night where there was a power black out, a common problem in Pakistan. The attack on the 18th attack came 10 days after an attack by a Muslim mob on the nearby Catholic St Francis church during a protest about similar blackouts. In a rare move, the police actually charged the mob under blasphemy laws, but we don't know if any individuals were actually arrested. We aren't holding our breaths on that one!
The Taliban are routinely attacking churches and Ahmadi places of worship in Karachi. They have been entering Essa Nagri with heavy machine guns and shooting Christians, stealing from shops, and demanding money from shopkeepers. In addition, gangs are kidnapping Christian girls and boys to sexually abuse and use in the sex-slave trade. A local tribal council has enforced sharia fines on the Christian community for daring to defend themselves. The police have done nothing.
The most recent attacks came after the local Christians in the slum spent millions of rupees (1 million rupees is about £649) building a wall all around their area for protection. However, this time the police did do something - on 17th October they marched en masse armed with tear-gas to tear down the wall that protected the Christians from the Taliban shooters and extortionists, ostensibly because the wall blocked the access to a mosque, thus allowing the militants in to loot the Pentecostal church the very next day and continue oppressing the Christian community.
Sources 1 and 2