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Scared Pakistani Christians Avoid Church (Religion of Peace alert)
AP via Austin American-Statesman ^ | December 29, 2002 | ASIF SHAHZAD

Posted on 12/29/2002 4:48:44 PM PST by twntaipan

Scared Pakistani Christians Avoid Church

By ASIF SHAHZAD
Associated Press Writer

CHIANWALA, Pakistan (AP)--Frightened Christians stayed away from Sunday services in this tiny Pakistani village after a deadly Christmas Day attack here killed three girls and wounded 13 others. Many said they were too traumatized to return to their church.

``There are no Sunday services in the church because people can't bring themselves to visit it,'' said the Rev. Rehmat Asim, head of the Protestant congregation, outside his simple, cottage-sized church. ``They're in shock.''

Two assailants in burqas--the all-encompassing garment worn by women in some Islamic countries--burst into the white cement church Dec. 25, tossing grenades at about 40 worshippers. Four days later, blood still stained the church floors and walls.

``Nobody has visited it after the attack and I do not have the courage to wash the church because it was such a big tragedy,'' Asim said.

Six people have been arrested and five others are being sought.

One of those detained was local Islamic cleric Mohammed Afzar, who had allegedly told his congregation to kill Christians just days before the attack in Chianwala, about 40 miles northwest of Lahore.

The suspects are believed to be affiliated with the outlawed organization Jaish-e-Mohammed, or Army of Mohammed, which is known to have links with al-Qaida and to have trained its operatives in neighboring Afghanistan.

No charges have been filed and police Sunday didn't sound optimistic.

``There is no major breakthrough yet, but we are still investigating,'' said Shahid Iqbal, chief of police in Sialkot, the district headquarters for Chianwala.

Arif Masih, a 26-year Pakistani Christian in this dirt-poor village that is home to mainly Muslim farm workers said she has been frightened for months by Afzar, the cleric.

``He had been announcing since the Sept. 11 attacks in the U.S. that it is religiously rewarding to kill Christians and it is obligatory for every Muslim to eat a Christian for breakfast every day,'' she said.

She says Christians are now more afraid than ever.

``Most members of the Muslim community here are hard-liners,'' she said. ``We had been feeling insecure already. But now the insecurity has increased many-fold.''

There are 3.8 million Christians in this predominantly Muslim nation of 140 million people. The government has condemned the attack.

Saleema Bibi, 90, whose 9-year-old granddaughter Najma was killed in the attack, said she could still hear ringing in her ears from the powerful blasts of the grenades.

``It is all still painful and unbearable for me,'' she said, adding her granddaughter was ``laughing and frolicking'' on her way to church the day of the attack.

Others in the village recalled the horror immediately after the assault.

``People shouted that somebody had attacked the church,'' said Ferozan Bibi, whose 15-year-old daughter Razia Bibi was killed. ``I ran and found the church and the girls engulfed by smoke and dust. Razia was laying at its doorsteps.''

The government said Thursday it would pay $1,700 to relatives of each of the three girls killed, and $430 to each of the wounded.

AP-NY-12-29-02 1027EST

Copyright 2002, The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP Online news report may not be published, broadcast or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.


TOPICS: Front Page News
KEYWORDS: christian; islam; muslim; persecution; religion; terror; terrorism
Major media outlets continue to ignore the slaughter of Christians by Muslims. Question: Are liberals willing accomplices in persecution of Christians by their refusal to speak out?
1 posted on 12/29/2002 4:48:44 PM PST by twntaipan
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To: twntaipan
Major media outlets continue to ignore the slaughter of Christians by Muslims. Question: Are liberals willing accomplices in persecution of Christians by their refusal to speak out?

The leftest media hates Christians as much as Nero or Caligula did in old Rome. Ted Turner, for example, went into a tirade of anti-Christian profanity when he saw staff members with ashes on their foreheads on Ash Wednesday.

2 posted on 12/29/2002 5:02:52 PM PST by friendly
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To: twntaipan
I think the liberals are so blinded with a fake moral superiority that they can't see what is so plainly staring them in the face. Muslim terrorists hate all christians no matter what political party you are from.....yes liberals, they hate you too!
3 posted on 12/29/2002 5:28:08 PM PST by Arpege92
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To: friendly
All the more reason to do it then. Was he caught uttering hate speech against Christians? Could be prosecutable!
4 posted on 12/29/2002 5:47:43 PM PST by crystalk
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To: twntaipan
satire
Christians martyred:

President Bush: "I don't see any press coverage of that. You better get your facts straight."

Pakistani Christians staying away from churches in fear:

President Bush: "This is another example of the Religion of Peace, when you understand how to get along with them."

5 posted on 12/29/2002 6:35:05 PM PST by Taiwan Bocks
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To: twntaipan
Major media outlets continue to ignore the slaughter of Christians by Muslims.

the Press ignored the slaughter in the Sudan for years ... hundreds of thousands, mostly Christians, and some say as high as 2 million killed there ... Also, Algeria had reportedly 300,000 killed by random Muslim attack between about the mid-1990's to 2000 ... where is the press? where is the U.N. and Robert Mugabe-hugging Kofi Annan??? off smooching Yasser Arafat, the main killer of / promoter of terrorism against Jews ... (through his various groups) ...
6 posted on 12/29/2002 9:50:36 PM PST by Bobby777
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To: twntaipan
LINKS OF INTEREST:

PAKISTAN CHRISTIAN POST

PAK TODAY.com

7 posted on 12/30/2002 12:24:36 AM PST by Cindy
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To: Bobby777
re post no. 6:

PERSECUTION.org - INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN CONCERN

PERSECUTION.com - VOICE OF THE MARTYRS

8 posted on 12/30/2002 12:27:11 AM PST by Cindy
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To: twntaipan
Muhammad's Koran-inspired persecution of Christians, Jews and all non-Muslims continues...
9 posted on 12/27/2004 3:00:45 AM PST by miltonim (Fight those who do not believe in Allah. - Koran, Surah IX: 29)
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