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Sunday 10 March 2013

Police attack Churches and groups of Christians in attempts to silence protests!

Today (10th March 2013) since 2pm Christians in Lahore have been informed by Police that they are not permitted to protest against the treatment of Christians in Badami Bagh.

In a brutal attack on young protesters Police fired shells of tear gas on thousands of Christian boys who had congregated peacefully at Ferozepur Road, Lahore.  The boys and young men were set upon by the police and beaten with "dunday" (large wooden sticks used by the police as truncheons).  Reports from people living in the area suggest two of the victims now have broken legs and that hundreds of these peacemakers have been arrested and placed in prisons.

It is alleged that Police have further infringed on the human rights of this community, by invading Christian homes and arresting any young men found within them.

Reports say that at approximately 3pm St Francis Roman Catholic Church, situated on Ferozepur Road was shot at by bullets and tear gas, whilst parishioners were attending a mass. The cross on the top of the church has been damaged by bullets and parishioners and the security officer there, have been threatened with violence, should they attempt to join or initiate any protests.

The Christian Community living here is now in a state of panic and fear.  St Francis Church provides education to children and young people from Nursery through to Secondary education and this season is exam period for all students.  Although many of the Christians understand the importance of education, they fear potential violence to their young vulnerable children and many will not be sending them to school tomorrow.

Other families living in the area are hiding their sons and asking them not to go out this evening. One protester has been shot dead and we ask that you pray for his family.

The police in the area have gone well beyond the remit of their authority and have perniciously succeeded in silencing local humanitarian voices and leaders.  These are desperate times fro Christians of Lahore and we call for your prayers.

We will publish images and an update on this ongoing violent saga in Lahore as they arrive.


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