We regret to inform that on January 06, 2016 Apostolic Church set ablazed by Muslim extremists after a minor dispute among local Muslims and Christians at village Bath near Shamkey Bhattian Multan Road Lahore.
On Pastor Asher from Shamki Bhattian and Pastor Mehboob another local Pastor informed Ms. Katherine Sapna Director CTS, through a telephonic call that the local Christians organized a healing prayer in the church in the late evening on January 06, 2015. It was a big meeting organized outside the church room and managed tents for people in the open air. Pastors also informed that the local Christians use loudspeakers during their all services and meetings in the Apostolic Church.
During worship a few Mulla’s (Islamic Leaders) approached Pastor Yaqoob Saroya In-charge the church to ask him put the Laud Speaker Off as it was a time of Islamic prayers as well but the Christians were disagree to compromise Muslims.
Pastor also stated that at the end of the worship Christians left to their houses but the aggressive extremists Muslims set the church on fire, as the idea was to harm the church building and burnt all the tents fixed in the church yard for Prayer meeting.
After CTS get information about the incident a team comprised on Mr. Suneel Karamat, Mr. Qaiser Yousaf and Pastor Zulfqar visited the place of occurrence on January 08, 2015 and collected the facts.
CTS met the locals and most of the local Christians believe that Muslims burn the church but there is no evidence or witness of the incident against the Muslims. Therefore a few Christians also think that it may be an electric short-circuit which give fire to the tents place in the Church yard as well as the building.
A famous Lawyer Mr. Suba Saroya Advocate High Court took the initiative to lodge the case FIR of the incident in the local police station Manga Mundi without nominating or accusing any one because they have no witness. The locals informed the CTS team that Village Baath is native village of advocate Suba Saroya and Pastor Yaqoob Saroya is his brother so he dealing the case volunteer.
CTS team visited Manga Mandi Police Station to get a copy of the FIR and asked police for the fair investigation in this matter to find out the reason of fire in the Church. Secondly the police should play a positive role to control any religious situation in this area by taking a severe legal action against the responsible to give lesson to others to be careful doing such things next time.
CTS strongly condemned such issues of religious minorities as well as worship places and pray that Peace, Love and Harmony could prevail worldwide and especially in Pakistan.
Christians’ True Spirit (CTS)