Church vandalized, set on fire in Lahore

 
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Lahore April 16 (TNS): In a shocking incident, a church in the Paracha Colony area of Shadra Lahore was vandalized and set on fire between the night of Sunday and Saturday.

Police said that they have registered an FIR (405/18) against unknown saboteurs and search was underway to arrest the suspects. Shadra Town police station official Ashraf Dar told TNS that the church was hit late in the night and the church administration noticed the damage in the morning. He denied that the police reluctantly registered the FIR.

The church administration said that a major portion of the papal suffered smoke and fire damage and a wooden statue, a Christian cross and other items had been damaged. However, no injuries to human life were reported.

The church administration said that the fire was intentional and aimed at creating panic among the Christians, who are in minority in Pakistan and often face persecution in the hands of fanatics and extremists.

The fire had also damaged the building from inside. The persecution of Christians in Pakistan comes from religious extremists and radical groups, who in the past, were backed and patronized in one form or the other by some political figures and institutions. Churches and other worship places of religious minorities are often targeted by saboteurs with gun attacks, arson and even bomb blasts.