A church set on fire by local Islamic extremists over a trifling dispute, causing much damage to the church building, furniture and the Holy Bibles.
News is that, some Muslim radicals set on fire the Apostolic Church followed by a negligible dispute between the local Muslims and Christians in a village namely Baath near Shamkey Bhattian Multan Road, Lahore. This incident reportedly took place on January 7, marking it as the first reported incident of anti-Christian violence in the country.
While speaking in this regard, Pastor Asher from Shamki Bhattian and Pastor Mehboob said that a prayer service was organized in the church in the evening of January 6. Since the congregation gathered in masses, church administration installed tents outside the church building along with loud speakers so that those outside the building can hear the sermon and prayer. They said that it was a routine to use loud speakers and it was not a new practice.
The pastors recounted that while the service was still going on, few local Islamic clerics (Mullahs) approached the pastor-in-charge of the church- Pastor Yaqoob Saroya and asked him to turn the loud speaker off, as it was the Islamic prayer time, (Azaan). However, Pastor Yaqoob and other church administrators refused to turn the loud speakers off.
Nonetheless, the prayer service continued and the congregants left after the service concluded. However, the Islamic extremists who got infuriated over the refusal to turn off the loud speakers; set the church on fire.
Later on, an FIR was lodged against unknown perpetrators in the police station of Manga Mundi. What is more, no evidence could be recovered form the scene that the church was viciously set on fire by the same Muslims who had asked the pastor-in-charge to turn the loud speakers off.
In this regard, High Court Advocate Suba Saroya has taken upon himself the task of pursuing the case and filed the complaint of this incident himself; without nominating or accusing any one, owing to the fact that no substantial evidence could be found.