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     Home > Justice & Peace >  2013-06-14 18:56:51
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State illegally confiscates Church land in Pakistan

The Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Lahore in northern Pakistan, Bishop Sebastian Francis Shaw, has spoken out against the recent illegal confiscation of Church property by the state. Speaking this week to the Catholic Charity, the Church in Need, he said last year the government dispossessed the Church of its land in north Pakistan and formally registered it as its own. On the land there was a building operated by Caritas. It was pulled down using heavy equipment under police protection. It housed a day care center for old people, a sewing school for girls, a chapel and a convent for sisters, and other Catholic Church institutions. The Church possessed the piece of land in 1887. Despite a ruling by the court that the state acquired the land illegally, the government of Pakistan has refused to give it back. In another incident in March this year Christians living in a settlement named after St. Joseph were attacked by 3000 Moslem radicals who burnt down 178 houses and two churches on grounds that one of the Christian faithful had blasphemed the prophet Mohammed. The police gave protection to the attackers. The attack was, however, condemned by some government officials and moderate Moslem leaders. Pakistan is predominantly a Moslem country.


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