Christian villagers of Nayya Sarabah Chak 336 village, claim they are being persecuted on religious grounds as they are not allowed to worship in the only church they have in their village. Their quandary began in December 2017, when the local Christian villagers were forced to sign a pledge stating that they would not hold prayer services in the church.
In keeping the details, the Rajana Police forced Christian villagers to sign this pledge that the Christians would “hold religious ceremonies in their houses. There will be no programme in the church. If anyone will violate this agreement, then legal action will be taken. Christians will not gather in any house for a religious programme. If there will be any violation of this, legal action will be taken”.
In December 2017, last prayer service was held in the Chak 336 church, since then the church has been shut down. Local Christians hold prayer services in their homes instead. This church belonging to the FGA denomination is built on the land owned by Rafiq Masih a local Christian. In this regard, a local Christian union councilor Rafaqat Masih stated that church was built from the funds generated by the Christians themselves.
Media quotes a local Muslim villager Muhammad Siddique saying that “Muslims are in the majority in this village so we can’t allow a church here.” He said that “Now we are working with the civil administration to give a piece of land to Christians outside the village,” he added. “We will make them (Christians) write an agreement that they will sell this current church building or at least dismantle the church structure and crosses.”
On June 5, the administration proposed that a state-owned church will be built outside the village. After consultations with Christians and Muslims, it was decided that all crosses and other religious symbols will be removed from the church in the village.