Muslims in the village of Gojra in Pakistan’s Punjab province are assisting local Christians with a new church building. The Muslim-majority of village is home to eight Christian families. The new building will be the first ever church in the village. Muslim villagers are contributing finance as well as assisting with the actual construction work.
Ijaz Farooq, a Muslim villager, said, “Our mosque stands here from times past, but our Christian brothers also have the right to worship in their church.” He added, “We have a place to worship, but Christians do not have one.”
Faryal Masih, a Christian in the village, said, “As far as I can remember, we have been living together; we partake in each other’s happiness, sorrows and religious festivals.” He also commented that the Christians can “rest assured that our Muslim neighbours will stand by our side in times of trouble”.
Christians in Pakistan are usually despised by the Muslim majority and discriminated against. In recent years they have increasingly been targeted in violent attacks.
Faryal Masih is praying that this display of kindness is replicated throughout Pakistan. “May the Lord protect everyone with incidents like this one in Gojra,” he says.