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Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Update on teenage blasphemy victim Ryan Stanten and attack on St Francis Church

Father Mohan Victor Show damage caused by the attack on St Francis Church.

Glassless windows illustrate the level of vandalism to this church.

A statue of Mary has been taken away form its usual outside display area for safekeeping, the church fears another attack.

Father Mohan Victor, Samuel Khokar (MPA), BPCA's Shamim Masih and a Church assistant.

Islamabad Pakistan, Oct 14, (SHAMIM MASIH):  

On Friday afternoon (October 12th), after Muslim Jumma prayer a 600 strong mob attacked and damaged a church in the old city area of Karachi.  Earlier the same pillagers set fire to the belongings of  Ryan Bryan a teenager now accused of blasphemy in the same town.  . 

The BPCA sent Shamim Maish to Karachi to investigate this new incident and he reached the same evening. He was shocked to see more destruction just days after the attack on the church in Mardan.

On Saturday a large number of civil society activists and members of the Christian community held a demonstration, urging the authorities to protect them from the extremists who attacked and damaged a church and threatened to kill an innocent teenager caught up in a swarm of hatred.  Literally hundreds of Christians braved the animosity directed towards then to vent their frustrations against the injustice meted out upon them. The protesters chanted slogans and demanded security for the minority communities and their places of worship. They demanded that the attackers should be punished under the law.

Father Mohan Victor of the local Catholic Parish Church of St Francis said;

"There were two wedding ceremonies being held at our church when the attack commenced.  200 to 300 people were attending when suddenly without warning a big large vehement mob gathered outside the church.  The rioters started pelting stones at the church and visitors and attacked us with sticks. 

He added;

The mob entered the church compound and smashed the cars and motorcycles parked there. Flowerpots, windows and doors of the church were irreparably damaged."

Father Mohan described how as soon as the mob entered the compound visitors and clergy sought refuge in the church building, hiding upstairs in the dark, ensuring all lights were turned off and no noise could be heard.  The attack continued for more than 90 minutes and parishioners, clergy and visitors held silent prayers full of anxiety and fear.

"I called some friends and asked them to get the POlice to our church, thankfully  police arrived soon afterwards. Gunshots were heard from outside the church and the mob dispersed." Said Father Mohan.

He commented further;

"There is no reason for the attack we have done nothing to warrant this".

Saleem Khokher a prominent member of the sindh assembly said;

"When I received a call about the attack on the church, I immediately called the administration and soon after the police arrived there.  They dispersed the mob in timely fashion and most effectively. Soon after the attack I reached at the spot and told a Police official to launch an  FIR."

.Police said they had registered a case against unknown people who had attacked the Catholic Church. Shamim will be uploading a copy for wider perusal on this blog by tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. I am glad to see that Christians are beginning to Stand Together in the face of such happenings. It is hard for them when they are alone and these things happen. It is harder for the police and Governments of Pakistan to ignore incidences involving so many Christians. Keep up with reporting these actions so that the Christians in and around Pakistan know that THEY ARE NOT ALONE. That someone IS RAISING AWARENESS IN THE WORLD AGAINST SUCH ACTIONS AGAINST HUMANITY. GOD BLESS AND KEEP YOU IN HIS LOVE.