Christians in Pakistan Allege Seizure of Graveyard

Religion Today

Christians in Pakistan Allege Seizure of Graveyard

Christians in a village in Punjab Province are fighting to save their decades-old graveyard from being converted into farmland by a retired army colonel, Compass Direct News reports. Because of the military man's influence, police have refused to address the complaint by Christians of Bhondary Wala village in Narang Mandi in spite of orders from senior administration officials, sources said. Rehmat Masih said Col. Farrukh Alam had claimed ownership of 150 acres of land and threatened area Christians if they did not vacate it. Masih said Christians approached Narang Mandi police after Alam desecrated Christians' graves on April 24, but officers refused to register their complaint. The retired army official acknowledged that the land had originally been designated as a Christian graveyard, but that the land was declassified as such and sold in 1983, and that he found out the land belonged to him a few years ago. He denied desecrating Christian graves, alleging that the Christians were being used by a member of the Ahmadiyya Islamist sect, considered heretical by many Muslims. He claimed "the Ahmadi" was using the Christians to oppose him because he never treated the sect member as a genuine Muslim. Masih said Alam was threatening him and other village Christians, and that the dispute was stoking religious tensions in the area.


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