Christianity crackdown: Fury as group tear down crosses and desecrate graves in sick stunt

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According to witnesses, an armed group of thugs tore down crosses of Christ, desecrated gravestones and removed religions verses from walls in the Kasur district of Punjab. The horrific attack took place at a 70-year-old graveyard in the Bulgari village on August 17.

Qaiser Masih, a local Christian, claimed the shocking attack was carried out by a group of followers of Islam after a wall was constructed to segregate the resting place.

Mr Masih said the decimated graveyard was home to more than 100 Christians who had lost their life.

The local worshipper insisted the holy ground was now being prepared by the attackers for use as farmland and they had no powers to stop it.

In an interview with human rights group International Christian Concern, he said: “Over 100 Christian families reside in the village.

“We have remains of our forefathers in this graveyard.

“However, influential Muslims have grabbed a big portion of the graveyard. They have grabbed the land to use for their cattle.

“The Christians had no courage to stop the armed men as they were ready to open fire if the Christians resisted.”

Mr Masih conceded it is just a matter of time before the rest of the land is taken over – leaving no place to bury the dead.

He urged the authorities to take action to prevent any further persecution against fellow Christians.

He added: “Very soon the land grabbers will occupy the remaining part of the graveyard.

“We cannot fight as we are the poor segment of the society. Therefore, the authorities must ensure the protection of Christians and their properties.”

According to official Government figures, Islam remains the dominant religion in the country.

Pakistan has a population of more than 200 million people and according to the Pakistan Bureau Statistics, 96 percent of people identify as Muslim.

Sunni and Shi’a Islam are the two major Islamic versions practised in the Asian country.

The data shows that just over 1.5 percent of people follow the Christian faith and less than two percent are Hindu.

In the Punjab region, where the incident took place, the proportion of followers of Islam is higher than the national average.

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In the densely populated territory of more than 110 million people, figures show more than 97 percent of people are Muslim.

Pakistan is an Islamic republic and the constitution requires laws are consistent with Islam.

Under the law, religious minorities are permitted to practise their religion and have equal rights to jobs, education and property.

However, according to the International Religious Freedom Report 2007, “freedom of speech is also subject to any ‘reasonable’ restrictions in the interest of the ‘glory of Islam’.”

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