Pakistani church condemns arson attack on Christians

A demonstrator burns a cross during a protest in Lahore, Pakistan, March 9.

CNS PHOTO | ADREES HASSAIN, REUTERS

A demonstrator burns a cross during a protest in Lahore, Pakistan, March 9.

March 18, 2013

The Catholic Church in Pakistan condemned a March 9 attack by an estimated 3,000 Muslims on a Christian colony in Lahore that left more than 175 buildings, including two churches and dozens of homes, torched and hundreds of people homeless.

The attack came after a Christian sanitary worker allegedly criticized Mohammed three days earlier.

The Church’s National Commission for Justice and Peace in a March 10 statement also criticized police for charging the worker, Sawan Masih, who is Catholic, with blasphemy.

Father Emmanuel Yousaf Mani, commission director, lamented that “the political leadership in the country also did not find courage to address the sufferings of religious minorities especially those related to abuse of blasphemy laws.”