We have received a report by the Rev Dr Jamil Nasir, pastor of the Church of Pentecost in Lahore, which we copy verbatim with a few explanations in bold brackets. It gives a vivid picture of the kind of persecution, intimidation, murder, police connivance and fear that Christians in Pakistan have to undergo. The background to this agitation is rumours that this pastor is inviting Muslims to convert to Christianity. Several copies of the report are also posted on facebook, there is also a rather roughly edited one here.
This happened two nights ago when I was at a meeting and my family was alone at home. Some Maulvis (a term used of 'learned teachers or doctors of Islamic law) came to my house and were banging and kicking the door. They wanted to meet me. My family was very scared and my children were crying and praying inside. They left and came back again. One of them said to me, " I want to become Christian". I said, " I do not make anybody Christian". The other one said "I was a Muslim and now I have become Christian, I need your help". I understood the situation and knew that they were trying to harass me. So I did not answer them. They threatened me when they left.
Last night in the area of LDA, Walton Road Lahore, Muslims fired with their guns on the homes of Christians living there. It is now 1:40 am, August 31, 2012 we can hear the Muslims chanting naara-e taqbeer outside.
It all started when a Muslim man named Ahmed Bhatti who owns a butcher shop next to the place where we hold our tent Church started a madrasah (Islamic school) on his property. He started melad there. Police comes there all the time and liquor is served to them.
Last Sunday when our Church service was over, there were 10-15 gundas who were standing with guns started to tease (this usually means sexually harass) our Christian girls. The situation was very bad.
Now that same man Ahmed Bhatti and others with him told the Muslim owners whose tenants are Christians to tell them to convert to Islam otherwise vacate their properties.They have vacated some shops who were run by Christians. One Christian man had his Gospel music on in the shop, they beat him up and kicked him out from that shop on dung point .
Ahmed Bhatti on his microphone was shouting, " I am giving Christians this invitation to convert to Islam otherwise they will face consequences". Right now we can hear them chanting and shouting naara-e-taqbeer (the title of the phrase 'Allah is great').
We had called the Police who came and spent some time there, had a tea party and left. The Police is involved with them. (i want to let you know on 14 Aug 2012 police killed a Christian boy in Nawaz sharif colony which is localted next to LDA Quatters Walton Road Lahore). While Police was there, this Ahmed Bhatti punched the glass of his shop door and said, Christians have done this to me.
They have said there will be no Church service there on Sunday, if you will try you will face the consequences. Police has done nothing so far, they are with this man.
We have spoken to Kamran Michael, Akram Gill and other Christian leaders who are getting the Police involved. Our young Christian boys are ready to fight back but we have told them not to.
It is now 2.00 am in Pakistan and at this very moment the situation is very very tense. About 100 to 200 young people are outside shouting. They can burn our homes anytime. Please pray for the Christians of Lahore and the situation here. We are requesting you all to please pray for us and put International pressure for this kind of situation. Our people are helpless.