22 March 2018

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11/09/2015 PAKISTAN

Lahore, Christians build churches despite death threats

The ‘Hope for Light’ association has already built three churches and has begun on a new one in Sehari, near Lahore. The building will serve Christian peasants whose existing church is too small. Earlier this year, Muslim extremists tried to intimidate a local Christian leader. "We hope that things will improve with time,” he said. However, he does not plan to change course because local Muslims support their projects.

Lahore (AsiaNews) – After receiving death threats earlier this year, the "Hope for Light" Christian Association has begun building a new church in the rural village of Sehari, Kasur district (35 km south-east of Lahore).

The village is home to 36 Christian families, who currently meet in a mud building Church that is too small to accommodate everyone. In view of the situation, Mass has to be celebrated outside.

After visiting the village, Rev Sohail Farman, who heads ‘Hope for light, said that the association would fund the construction of a new place of worship.

“Sehari is a small village of 200 houses,” said Sohail Farman. At least 36 belong to Christians who earn a living from farming.” In October, 'Hope for Light' began to build a church for them.

“We hope that people will benefit from this new place of worship and seek God through new blessings. We are doing our best to ensure that we can celebrate Christmas in the new church. The Muslim community is supporting this project all the way. "

"We are committed to our mission and we will continue to help poor communities build churches,” said Javed David, leader of the construction team. “They have a right to have a place of worship. This is our fourth church."

David himself told AsiaNews how earlier this, he received threats from Muslims, who warned him to stop building new churches. "This is a Muslim country and we cannot allow you to continue,” he was told.  At that time, "Hope for Light" was active in Shekhupura District.

"We hope that things will improve with time,” said Malvin Mall, a team member. “We just shifted our focus from Shekhupura to Sehari, but for sure we shall continue our work in Shekhupura."

"The change of focus is temporary,” added Ataurehman Saman, another member. “So far we have built three churches in Shekhupura and Jaranwala districts, Punjab.”

“In addition,” he said, “we run a school in a Church buildings open to Christians and Muslims who can learn to read and write together. We also provide a scholarship worth a thousand rupees a month (US$ 9.5) to three Christians and Muslims from Shekhupura."

See also

11/01/2018 13:44:00 PAKISTAN
Pakistani Church condemns the 'brutal' rape and murder of a 7-year-old girl

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13/01/2018 11:04:00 PAKISTAN
Justice and Peace on the rape and murder of little Zainab: urgent need of laws and policies for the protection of children

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12/01/2018 19:22:00 PAKISTAN
Pakistan mourns child raped, killed and thrown into a rubbish dump

Zainab was seven years old and lived near Lahore. The Government of Punjab is offering a reward of US$ 90,000 to anyone who can help police find the murderer. Yesterday two more children were killed in the province, triggering two parallel investigations. The entertainment industry and the sports world have denounced the "violated rights of minors".

11/01/2018 20:50:00 PAKISTAN
For Pakistani activists, a “rape culture” places no value in children

The country mourns Zainab, 7, from near Lahore. Her body, left in a rubbish dump, shows signs of torture. The "culture of rape" feeds on a cultural background defined by the division between men and women, misogyny, and abuses in madrassas.

06/06/2005 PAKISTAN
Bible Study group celebrates its first year
A Kasur diocese Bible Study group celebrates its first anniversary in the predominantly Muslim Pakistan. "Members' commitment nowadays is a great thing," says well-known Bible teacher Father Asi.

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