FILE PHOTO: Pakistani Christians gather inside the main service hall of a church after it was torched by angry Muslim protesters in Sangla Hill, west of Lahore (FAROOQ NAEEM/AFP via Getty Images)
A mob of Muslim men allegedly attacked and damaged a church at Hakeempura in Shekhupura district in Pakistan on 9 May. Reports said that the church’s wall and main gate were damaged and a cross was desecrated following the attack.
The attack on Trinity Pentecostal Church in Hakeempura was led by Aoon Abass and Ali Shan, alleged local Christians.
Pastor Samuel Barkat, head pastor of Trinity Pentecostal Church, reported to police that the mob had attempted to set the church on fire. It is learnt that an FIR has been filed in connection with the incident by the police.
The church alleges that Aoon Abass is attempting to steal the land from the church.
“Abass’ land is adjacent to the church and he has threatened many times to steal the church’s property,” Pastor Barkat told International Christian Concern.
“The church serves over 350 Christian families in Hakeempura.”
“Following the COVID-19 lockdown, the church has been closed down and the worshipers are not visiting,” Pastor Barkat explained to ICC. “Therefore, a group of land grabbers wanted to utilise this opportunity for their motives.”
Trinity Pentecostal Church sits in 272.25 sqft of land in Hakeempura. The building is utilised for social gatherings of the Christian community in addition to its use as a centre of worship.