Pastors Arrested Following Ban on House Churches in Punjab

Published 13 October 2017  |  
PCP

Church leaders in Bahawalpur, Punjab province of Pakistan, have requested the government to uphold the constitution after it had banned house churches in the city. The leaders have also been requesting Christians from the city to sign and circulate their petition to support their efforts.

Some Christians are helpless as they are not able to afford proper church building, but meet at houses to pray. When neighboring Muslims in Bahawalpur had complained that they were disturbed by Christian prayers, officials ordered shut down of house churches.

Punjab police have already arrested several pastors for gathering at houses for prayer and services despite the ban. According to Pakistan Christian Post (PCP), some of detained pastors 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 and Rev. Arshad Rehmat ( Gospel of Salvation).

The church leaders have urged Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Chief Minister of Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif and Interior Minister of Pakistan to uphold the constitution as the restrictions on Christian worship is too heavy to bear.

They have also asked British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) to negotiate with the government to lift the ban.

According to PCP, the church leaders have also requested BPCA to help them build proper buildings for churches to accommodate public worship.

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