Shamim writes about Muslims of a community in the Rawalpindi area of Pakistan harassing Pakistani-Christians primarily because the Muslims find the Christian services offensive.
Shamim doesn’t really share the specific details of the Muslim Islamic Supremacism against Christian religious freedom. I found an article the Christian Times Pakistan that make the issues a bit clearer:
Rawalpindi Neighborhood Christians & Muslims Clash Over Religious Freedom (Photo: Christian Times Pakistan)
The complainants namely Muhammad Sajid, Rashid Akhtar, Afzal Hussain and Muhammad Sadiq have maintained that some Christian residents of the locality including Patras Salamat Masih, James Allah Ditta and others are carrying out church activities which are bothering them.
In an application submitted at the New Town Police Station, the complainants claimed that Patras and James have illegally formed a church in house right in front of theirs. “They perform their religious ceremonies three days a week (Sunday, Tuesday and Saturday).” The complainants claim that during the church services Christian youngsters are stationed on the street; who block the passage of lay people on the street.
Moreover, the complainants said that whenever a Christian dies, these congregants use the street for observing funeral ceremonies. They said that religious practices of these Christians have caused much nuisance to them. Furthermore, the complainants have stated that when they tried to approach the church’ administration they hurled death threats at us.
Sajid, Rashid, Afzal and Sadiq also claim that Patras and James were allegedly trying to pressurize them to sell their houses and leave the street. “We also informed the Union Council Chairman, Abid Hussain Abbasi,” they maintained in the compliant. They maintained that the Union Council Chairman had also advised them to sell their properties to the Christians and leave the street.
On the other hand, the Christians claim that on August 8, 2017, Sajid, Rashid, Afzal and Sadiq long with others arrived at the church when a prayer service was going on. Christians allege that the said people arrived with intent to attack the congregants and therefore the police was informed about the situation. (Bold text Editor’s -- Rawalpindi: Tension arises between Christians, Muslims in New Town neighborhood; By admin; Christian Times Pakistan; 10/3/17)
I used bold text to point out that Muslims often lie when it comes to the religious liberty of Christians. This is particularly so when Islamic Supremacist use Pakistan’s Blasphemy Law to eject or cause harm to Christians.
Here is Shamim Masih’s account below.
Christians Fear to Attend Sunday Service
By SHAMIM MASIH
Sent: 10/22/2017 12:16 AM
RAWALPINDI: Christians fear of attending ceremonial services and Sunday service due to the threats of Muslims living in the neighborhood. Muslims disrupted church a service and wanted to eliminate the church building in the twin area of Rawalpindi, a twin city of Pakistan. Police are reluctant to arrest Muslims even after the attack.
According to the reports, a group of 13 people in the town area of Rawalpindi district filed an application against the Pastor Patras Salamat at the office of the district administrator “City Police Officer” (CPO) to shut down the church. The CPO Israr Abbasi ordered the concerned officials to take stern action against the church administration, the report said. The document available with the Covenant TV reads that Mohammad Sajid, Rashid Akhter, Mohammad Sadiq and others have filed an application against the Pastor Patras Salamat and James Allah Dita to stop the religious ceremony done by local the Christians around their houses and also wrote a threatening statement between the lines. Number of 13 members of the locality wrote an application to the district administration with their signatures underwritten and said that due to their Sunday service and the religious ceremonial; the Muslim community living around feels irritated and itchy. Therefore, they have requested the higher ups to remove the church from their neighborhood. The city administrator (CPO) ordered the concerned officials to take action and stop these activities, the document reads.
In talking to the Covenant TV Pastor Patras Salamat, he said the Philadelphia Pentecostal Church is a registered body under the constitutions of the country and was established nineteen years ago at the same place when his father Pastor Salamat purchased the land and started with the
small building. And with the passage of time as the church grew, he purchased the nearby land as well. The Philadelphia Pentecostal Church is registered and the sitting Priest claimed that he obtain the written approval for the said piece of land for Church building from the local administration. On every Sunday service the police chief also assigned two police security at the venue. When the congregation gathered for the service, we also arrange our church volunteers to take care of the visitors and congregation as well.
A few weeks back, when the service was on and as soon as worshipers began worshipping, Mohammad Sajid and a few other Muslims arrived armed with guns and machetes to disrupt the Sunday service and shouted to stop the service. The church administration went to resolve the issue. Later the local administration arranged a reconciliation meeting between the Muslims and members of the congregation. After a few days the Muslims again filed an application to the senior officials, he added.
Mr. Javed Youhana, a regular church-goer said that he used to attend the Sunday services since 1999 but he feels himself insecure while going to church since the Muslim in the neighborhood have threatened the Christians. Basharat Khokher, an activist said, “I live nearby but attend the service on regular basis with my family, since the attack on [the] church has created [a] sense of insecurity in me and many others. We live under constant traumatiz[ation] since the attacks began on Pakistan on worship places by the extremists. … For the most time, when I go to church I fear anything can happen anytime and I feel whether I will go back home (alive) or not.” [Blog Editor: Emphasis mine]
Taliban terrorists and extremist in Pakistan have been attacking worship places of the religious minorities across the country for the last two decades, killing hundreds and with thousands injured. Many of them are still living with their constant diseases and some are paralyzed due to these attacks while worshiping their God. There have been attacks on Shiite mosques and Imambargahs; Bohra worship places; Ahmadiya community worship places; Churches; and Hindu temples. Due to the situation, the minorities in general, live in the grip of fear even during the worship.
Journalist, Blogger and Social Reformer
SUPPORT Shamim’s Christian advocacy in Pakistan. First contact Shamim in case he has found an easy way to donate. I like to use Western Union sending money with this LINK to the destination of Islamabad (Contact Shamim in case he has changed cities). Shamim’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org, Western Union may ask for Shamim’s phone - +92-300-642-4560
Edited by John R. Houk
Text embraced by brackets are by the Editor.
Unedited version at Pakistan Christian Post
© Shamim Masih (Mahmood)