Lahore: Christians stage a protest against land grabbing of church

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Christians staged a protest against the looming land grabbing of church property for a transport project. This protest was staged May 3, Tuesday in front on the Lahore High Court, Mall Road, Lahore. A large number of Christians including rights activists and organisations took part in this protest. Members of the Pakistani Minorities’ Unity Council also took part in this protest.

Christians protesting outside Lahore High Court

The protesters were holding placards which read: “We want equal rights.” They were holding banners with messages of condemnation of the land grabbing of the church property.

In keeping with details, the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) has plans to build a sewerage pumping station on the land beside the Cathedral Church. This plan has caused indignation among the Christians. The church authorities, on the other hand are not willing to hand over the land to LDA at any cost.

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Christians are irked as they protest in an effort to save the sanctity of the Cathedral. On the other hand, the church authorities have moved the Lahore High Court, demanding termination of the construction of the sewerage pumping station. Accordingly, the Lahore High Court had directed the LDA to cease from acquiring of the land or demolishing any property of the Cathedral.

What’s more, the LDA requested the Cathedral church’ authorities to hand over three-kanal land for the Orange Line Metro Train project. Additionally, the boundary wall of length about 40 meters will also be demolished during construction work. However, the Cathedral church authorities have maintained that the asked land does not belong to the Cathedral School but to the Cathedral Church. The church authorities further clarified to the LDA that the property is managed by a registered body Church of Pakistan Lahore Diocesan Council (COPLDC).

Furthermore, the Cathedral church’ administration has also written a detailed letter to the Punjab government stating: “Owing to age, structure and architecture the Cathedral Church ranks among historical churches of Sub-continent. The whole building and premises of the church were not only structure of bricks but icon of love, tranquility and a cradle of peace. The church regretfully represses its reluctance to part with its land required for this project and request that space for the proposed pumping station should be looked for at some other appropriate place.”