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Christians threatened while trying to save graveyard in Pakistan 

Country/Region: Pakistan, South and East Asia

Christians in Pakistan have been threatened and abused while trying to save their community’s graveyard from being turned into farmland in a dubious takeover bid.

Pakistan_Crowd_4X3.jpg
Christians in Pakistan are often taken advantage of by the powerful

Retired army colonel Farrukh Alam has claimed ownership of the 150-acre plot in Bhondary Wala village in the Narang Mandi area, which has been used by Christians as a graveyard since before the creation of Pakistan in 1947.

He claims that while the land had previously been specified as a graveyard for the Christian community, it was taken back in 1983. He says that he has “recently discovered” that the land in fact belongs to him.

Despite failing to produce any proof of this, the colonel has already built a boundary wall, reducing the graveyard to less than a third of its original size, and turned the seized land over to agricultural use.

Christians from the area who are trying to save their graveyard have been threatened and abused by Col. Alam. One of them, Rehmat Masih, took the matter to the police, but they refused to follow up the matter.

The Christians have since gained the support of Additional Home Secretary Asif Bilal, who urged the district police superintendent, “Please help these individuals. Minorities are marginalised segments of our society and need our assistance.”

The superintendent has subsequently taken action, handing an application for the registration of an FIR (First Information Report), which launches an investigation, to the local police. They have said that they will act accordingly after visiting the graveyard.

Col. Alam is the uncle of Muhammad Khurram Gulfam, a Member of the Provincial Assembly who represents the Pakistan Muslim League. Mr Gulfam says that he has asked his uncle to let the Christians use the land for their graveyard.

Christian communities in Pakistan are extremely vulnerable and are often taken advantage of by the powerful. They are marginalised and discriminated against in every aspect of their lives.

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christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

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  • On this Good Friday, give thanks to God for the death of Christ and for His gift of eternal life. Praise Him too for the example of those Christians who have persevered in their faith at the risk of their lives and who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of Christ and the Gospel. Pray that their martyrdom will inspire their suffering brothers and sisters in Christ to endure whatever hardships befall them and will convince their persecutors of the truth and power of the Gospel. Pray too that their bereaved families and churches will not grieve without hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 9 hours ago

  • Cry out to the Lord for Christians in the Central African Republic (CAR) who have been driven from their homes by the violence that has engulfed their country. Attacks by Islamist Séléka militants and retaliation from “anti-balaka” militias has generated a huge humanitarian crisis in which around two million people, many of them Christians, are in need of emergency assistance. Give thanks for the work of Barnabas partners who have been providing food rations to hundreds of displaced believers in the capital, Bangui, and distributing food, medicines, clothing and seeds to thousands in various regions. Pray that the aid will reach those who need it most, and that the Lord will comfort the relatives and friends of the thousands who have been killed in the fighting. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Apr 2014 00:00

  • “Jesus Christ performed tremendous miracles in all our lives through this Shalom Camp.” A pastor spoke of how God had worked through a Barnabas-sponsored weekend Bible camp for persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka. The camp was attended by believers from five different churches that had been the target of threats or attacks by Buddhist or Hindu extremists. The participants heard teaching on the Biblical basis for persecution and took part in group discussions; they came away refreshed and encouraged, and for many the camp was a time of great spiritual renewal. Give thanks to the Lord for the peace He has brought to these persecuted believers, and ask that the weekend will continue to bear much fruit in their lives. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Pray for a church leader in Sri Lanka, S.S. Johnpillai, who was threatened at gunpoint by attackers who claimed to be Special Forces officers. The minister was in a hut next to his church building in Guadalupe, Trincomolee when, he said, the men “appeared out of nowhere”. The intruders put a gun to Johnpillai’s head and accused him of holding a Communion service in honour of the founder of the Tamil Tigers, the government’s opponents in the country’s long and bloody civil war. The government had that day made it a criminal offence to commemorate the group. The gunmen ignored Johnpillai’s protests that he had not dedicated Communion to the group’s founder, and they threatened to shoot him. Ask the Lord to support and strengthen Johnpillai as he recovers from this terrifying ordeal. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Lift up to the Lord persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka, where at least 65 anti-Christian incidents took place during 2013, including repeat attacks on several believers and their property in October 2013. However, a Sri Lankan government minister from a Buddhist nationalist party denied the accounts, saying that they might be “made up”. The minister claimed that Sri Lankans are “one family … trying to live together after a long civil war”. Pray that the Sri Lankan government will recognise the danger that our brothers and sisters face from militant Buddhists and that the authorities will provide effective protection for vulnerable Christians. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Apr 2014 00:00

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