Christians, Muslims Protest Against Pakistan Gov't Inaction

Protesters gathered in front of the Lahore Press Club in Pakistan to demonstrate against the government’s inaction in the Sangla Hill incident.

In a rally on Sunday, Christians and Muslims joined together to protest against the government’s “cold shoulder” towards Sangla Hill when the mainly Christian village was attacked by a massive Muslim mob in November, according to AsiaNews. The rally was organized by the National Commission for Justice and Peace, whose chairman is Archbishop Lawrence John Saldanha, the head of the diocese in Lahore.

On Nov. 12, a total of 86 Muslims were arrested from a mob of around 3,000 people that set fire to three churches, the homes of two clergymen, destroyed a nursing hostel, nuns’ hostel, a convent school and four other houses in the Sangla Hill area.

According to the Pakistan Christian Post, representatives from political parties and civil society groups participated in the recent rally and demanded the arrest of those responsible for the incident.

Those who spoke called for an end to widespread religious intolerance. Participants at the rally voiced that they wanted to live in peace but the government’s inaction and its failure to properly deal with issues have been a stumbling block, AsiaNews reported.

Reconstruction of destroyed churches and schools, meanwhile, has been hampered due to lack of funds, added a report by the Pakistan Daily Times newspaper.

The All Pakistan Council of Churches have reportedly written a letter to the president to urge him to make sure to arrest those involved in the incident.

The Pakistan Christian Post reported further that missionary organizations have announced another protest on Jan. 7 in Lahore if the issue is not resolved by then.