Dawn News

Locals gather inside the Paul Lutheran Church, which was set on fire by a mob during an anti-Islam film protest a day earlier, in Mardan. – Photo by Reuters
Locals gather inside the Paul Lutheran Church, which was set on fire by a mob during an anti-Islam film protest a day earlier, in Mardan. – Photo by Reuters

MARDAN: The Christian community of Mardan, on Saturday, demanded reconstruction of the Paul Lutheran Church which was burnt down by angry mob during the anti-Islam film demonstrations in the cantonment area on Friday.

The Christian community staged a demonstration near the burnt church and said that the police had failed to protect their worship place when angry protestors set the church on fire along with two Pastor houses and the adjacent head-teacher’s house.

Vice president of the church Andaryat, speaking to reporters in Mardan, on Saturday said that the Christian community equally condemn the sacrilegious film and demand action against the pastor and the filmmaker.

“Due to personal acts of a few fanatics the Christian community and its worship places in Pakistan are becoming unsafe, which is regrettable.”

He remarked that the church and the Christian school had been looted and the newly-installed computers had been stolen by the miscreants while the looters also take away other stuff from the church

The protestors carrying placards and banners also condemned the act of violence and decried the police for its failure for not protecting the church.

Andaryat said: “The divine books in the church have also been burnt down while the church has totally been ransacked and in a shambles,” adding, “we would need a lot of government support to rebuild it and hope the KPK government and the Chief Minister from Mardan will be coming to our help.”

Bishop of Peshawar Rt. Rev. Humphrey Peters has also appealed for support from the Anglican Communion and said “the damage had been very severe, and we will need to rebuild. We are asking for people around the world to keep us in your prayers.”

Placards showing dissatisfaction over the state of security for Christians said proper measures must be take to protect Christians properties and worship places

Andaryat to a query said: “we are Pakistanis first and then Christians, so we would condemn any such act which would be against Islam or any other religion and would expect the same treatment from our Muslim brothers as well.”

“We are peaceful and hold Muslim and their religious faith in high esteem and condemn the individual act which had become a source of embarrassment and outrage for the Muslims across the world, but we also need protection and respect from them.”

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Comments (22) Closed

Sep 22, 2012 05:35pm
A Church was burned down! Pages of the Holy Bible were burned! Blasphemy! Christian's unite and attack the Pakistani embassy. An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. Mahatma Gandhi
Sehr Sehrish
Sep 22, 2012 05:22pm
Horrendous i must say...people of Pakistan really needs to improve the quality of their way of expressing anger over poor governance and hypocrite leaders of Pakistan instead of terrifying the already suffering community of Pakistan or they will loose their honor in our hearts and respect in our eyes ...All said!
Sep 22, 2012 10:06pm
What a shame. We should rebuild the church no questions.
Sep 22, 2012 03:45pm
Shame for pakhtuns, at least we should not allow any such incidence to occur on pakhtun soil and should protest peacefully as we are secular and will remain secular no matter what happens.
Zain U Khan
Sep 22, 2012 06:48pm
What a shame. Christians of Pakistan also came out along with their muslim countrymen to protest against the film What happened to us muslims.Specially us Pukhtoons in Mardan where it happened. Zain
Sep 22, 2012 03:49pm
Way to go Muslims!
Sep 22, 2012 09:11pm
this is a highly sinful act and those who did it should be imprisoned
Sep 22, 2012 10:59pm
Hypocrisy is the word of the day, It seems ok to burn down a holy place for Christians along with their holy books in retaliation for a movie by a convicted criminal who was portraying Muslims a violent people. Aren't Christians people of the Book?
Abdul Malik
Sep 22, 2012 04:44pm
When will we Pakistani Muslims realize that by causing death and destruction we are harming no one but our own very people who are part and parcel of this country be it Muslims or non Muslims. It's a shame what the fanatics in Mardan have done to the Church. We should be ashamed of ourselves.
Sep 22, 2012 03:16pm
oh!! so sad.
Mohammed Yahya USA
Sep 24, 2012 05:09am
Excellent Mr. Abu Salman, actually we think we will go straight to Jannat by harming others
Sep 22, 2012 02:02pm
Something must be seriously done to control all this violence, sooner the better.
Sep 22, 2012 07:49pm
Well burning down the church is wrong act but i am tired of these indian try to teach us to be civilized they forget the indian crimes in khasmir , gujrat , indian punjab , assam and list goes on listen Prophet Peace Be Upon Him is our life line we will protest but peacefully.
Sep 22, 2012 11:05pm
Has the police registered a FIR as burning the CHURCH and The BIBLE and other HOLY BOOKS tantamounts to Blashemy. What is the opinion of the Islamist why are they not on the road and announcing from the Mosque that the Muslims who burnt the CHURCh have committed Blashemy and should be punished according to the current Blashemy law or is the Blashemy law enforced on minorities only?
Sep 22, 2012 07:26pm
Well this was the savage way of telling the world how angry Pakistani nation is. this their way of freedom of expression.
Sep 23, 2012 04:22am
If Prophet Mohammad would have been alive today he would have condemned all this The non-sense which is happening in Pakistan and other Islamic countries wherever there are illiterate uneducated and misinformed Muslims, these ignorant fanatics are doing everything which is contrary to the prophet's exemplary character and his teachings. No doubt every Muslim's feelings have been hurt by the film but the way the ignorant Muslim's are trying to show their love and respect for the Prophet (PBUH) is ruining the image of the whole Muslim Ummah in eyes of the Non-Muslims all over the world which is already the worst presently. However, peaceful way which is the Islamic way should be adopted to show our respect and love for The Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) to discourage such elements who try to play with Muslims' sentiments and efforts should be made by all the Muslim contries collectively at the highest level for making an International Law to control such incidents in future under which nobody is allowed to abuse the freedom of expression to show any disrespect to any religion or any relligion's sacred personalities.
Sep 23, 2012 03:59am
Respect is earned by showing respect to others.
Sep 22, 2012 01:23pm
These are our Prophets words on the subject; "Verily I, the servants (of Allah), the helpers, and my followers defend them, because Christians are my citizens; and by Allah! I hold out against anything that displeases them. No compulsion is to be on them. Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries. No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims' houses. Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God's covenant and disobey His Prophet." Need say another word?
Sep 22, 2012 06:27pm
It's time to separate religion from state politics and put the rule of law in place where every citizen is given equal rights and the Islamic hooligans each time pay a heavy price for their violence.
Sep 22, 2012 07:56pm
i know the other non-muslim minorites who attempted thes such acts mentioned above. but they could not have enough people to legitimize the construction.
Jean Ashley-Jones
Sep 22, 2012 08:31pm
They are crazed because of a video but to burn a Church down is OK???
Jamil awan
Sep 22, 2012 03:54pm
Muslim should behave in the same way, first they are pakistanis and then muslims.