Second Church in Pakistan Attacked Over Threat To Burn Korans by U.S. Pastor

Friday, September 24, 2010

By Joseph C. DeCaro, Worthy News International Correspondent

KARACHI, Pakistan (Worthy News)-- A Pentecostal church in Karachi was vandalized by Islamists still irate from a threat to burn Korans by a Florida pastor.

Protests in Pakistan continued against Pastor Terry Jones, even though Jones cancelled his well-publicized plans to burn the Islamic holy books during the recent anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Nine Bibles, three hymn books and three wooden crosses were found burnt last week at the Nasri Pentecostal Church in Shah Latif Town, Karachi, which is home to about 120 Christian families.

"The church gates were open and the locks broken," said Pastor Peter Shahzad. "The attackers broke open a cupboard and vandalized religious items at around midnight."

Shahzad urged the government to punish the vandals under Pakistan's infamous blasphemy laws; the congregation later held a protest rally at the Karachi Press Club.

The attack in Karachi was the second incident within one week: previously a Lutheran Church was attacked with grenades in Pakhtunkhwa province.

"Muslims want the US government to hand Jones over to them," said Father Thomas Gulfam, general secretary of the Heralds of Peace. "There are many people poorly educated in Islamic teachings that are still causing tension."

"It makes no difference whether the perpetrators of recent church attacks are arrested or not," said Father Aftab James Paul, director of Faisalabad diocese's Commission for Interfaith Dialogue, "nothing will happen (so) there may be more attacks."