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Eight Pastors Arrested After Largest City in Southern Punjab Bans House Churches


Authorities in Balawalpur — the largeset city in the southern Pakistani area of Punjab — ordered the closure of house churches and the arrest of church leaders.

At least eight home-based church leaders were arrested.

Church leaders discuss a way forward.

Punjabi police say the campaign to oust and arrest violators isn’t going to end any time soon.

The British Pakistani Christian Association has more:

uthorities have ordered the closure of house churches in Balawalpur after Muslims complained that they were disturbed by Christian prayers. Some Christians across hold their regular services in the houses of pastors and other members until they are able to afford a proper church building. However, when they gather at these locations for prayer the Punjabi police force are now arresting their pastors.

Several Pastor’s have been arrested under this targeted campaign against house churches instigated by the district council and enforced by Bahawalpur police, these men include:

Rev Arslan-ul-Haq
Rev Munir Masih (Gospel of Salvation)
Rev Arshd Baghicha (Kings Jesus Pentecostal church)
Rev Javad Veru (Pentecostal church)
Rev Mubashir Maqsood ( United Presbysterian Church Pakistan)
Rev Patress Nawab Gill
Rev Shoukat Masih
Rev Arshad Rehmat ( Gospel of Salvation)
There are only four church buildings in Bahawalpur; which is the largest city in Southern Punjab. These historic church buildings of The Catholic Church of Pakistan and The Church of Pakistan were built in the city of Bahawalpur prior to the 1947 independence of Pakistan and in 1971.

Permits to build new church buildings in the area are not granted if the site is within 200 meters from any mosque or 100 metres away from a Muslim residential home.

Local pastors in Bahawalpur want to Government of Pakistan take action against on those authorities who are banning house churches and want BPCA help them in this mission because they are unable to build proper buildings for churches to accommodate public worship.

Local churches are now not allowed to use a PA system during services, in addition to being unnecessarily restrictive; this action impedes the communication of the message from the pulpit to those who have come to hear it, as church congregations on average have very large attendances on any given Sunday – hence amplification would be required. It is estimated that more than 1000 Christian families live in the city of Bhawalpur.

In addition to theses logistical restrictions Church services have to be rescheduled, as they are not permitted to conflict with Muslim prayers in Mosques in that locality. …

Banning house church meetings for prayer in the city of Bahawalpur pulls the rug out from under religious freedom and guarantees provided to religious minorities in the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, showing how basic rights are suppressed.

The original Constitution of Pakistan did not discriminate between Muslims and non-Muslims. However, the amendments made during President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq’s Islamization led to the controversial Hudood Ordinance and Shariat Court. Later, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government tried to enforce a Shariat Bill, passed in May 1991. After the incident of 9/11 Pervez Musharraf’s government took steps to curtail the religious intolerance of non-muslims but this has had little effect.

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  • Liatris Spicata

    While I understand that nations have a wide range of interests to juggle, freedom of religion should be a priority for the USA. At very least, governments that do not respect that should not receive a penny of foreign aid from the USA. Whether or not we should even be attentive to the security or financial interests of such thugocfracies perhaps should be addressed on a case by case basis. You want to trade with the USA? Well we have some things we’d like to discuss ….

  • Suresh

    Muslims are vicious persecuters of non-muslims and we allow them into non-muslim lands to do exactly that by pushing islam down the throat of non-muslims using “freedom of religion”

    Its proven strategy of ethnically cleansing without firing a bullet.

  • vrajavala1

    I wish they would rename that area of Pakistan. Whenever I see Punjab, I immediately think of India.

    • It’s kind of sad, though…the Punjabis are basically one people with the same culture and ethnicity, but divided by a border drawn in 1947.

  • Jhandoo Balmaa

    Pakistan, Malaysia, Yemen, Sudan & BanglaDesh .. these are RIPE for the taking

    The populace has high levels of disaffection with the abysmal performance by “democratic institutions & govts”

    Even the “traditional nativized islam” which was UNIQUE to each of the above countries .. is all but wiped out

    Folks want radical leaders who will change their lives .. NOW

    Either murican evangelists show the initiative to harvest souls in these bountiful lands .. & BRING SUCCOUR TO THE WRETCHED (in this case, the mooslimes), AS JEEJUS INSTRUCTED

    Or else .. commies who are hand-in-glove with SALAFISTS .. will hijack these countries .. & convert them to breeding grounds of ISIS brand of jihadi islam

    • IzlamIsTyranny

      Pakistain, Malaysia, Yemen, Sudan (a muslum slave state), Bangladesh and Indonesia are all islamic pig’s anus states, they were never free and never will be because islum is fascist and totalitarian. Any Christian going to any of these muslum cesspool states to preach Christianity would probably be killed or imprisoned in a hot second for doing so.

  • Tm.

    Oh my God, pray for these poor pastors. This country does not allow minorities to worship freely and safely? Does the USA give this country monies?
    We live in a sad, intolerant world, except for the west. I hope they let these pastors go soon and unharmed. It does not feel like the 21st century.

    • OverIt

      Don’t worry, the west is going the same way. The level of appeasement to Muslims is quite staggering already, and this of course will continue to grow as their numbers do.

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  • Mahou Shoujo

    muslims tolerate nothing, it is time no one to tolerates muslims, any where, for any reason.

  • Ever since the Punjab region was divided by the Partition, it has been a hotbed of extremism and other problems. :(

  • IzlamIsTyranny

    Religious freedom and islamic ‘republic’ go together like aerosolized coal dust and lit matches.

    • IzlamIsTyranny

      I saw a muslum in Pakistain holding a sign: ‘First Kashmir, then the Punjab.’ So India still have part of the Punjab under its control?

  • Alleged-Comment

    They know they need to get rid of Christians in order for their NWO (New World Odor) to take place. Why don’t we bring Christians here and for every one that comes 2 Moslems have to BEAT IT!!

  • VoiceInDesert

    What saddens me is that Christians in America are taking their freedom for granted. Churches in America are closing their doors because of lack of attendance and finances. And many so-called Christians are lukewarm and have become like the church in Laodicea (Revelation 3:14-22). What a contrast to those persecuted Christians in Balawalpur who are desperate for fellowship, for the preaching of the Word, and whose house churches are packed!

    • Plowjogger1776

      Amen to that.

  • IzlamIsTyranny

    The subtle differences between radical and moderate islum:

  • Plowjogger1776

    Pray and inform your friends of what has happened. If you do know about it, check out Voice of the Martyrs. They help in situations like this and I think they will get on this pretty quickly.

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