Free Apostolic Church set on fire by extremists in Lahore
The Free Apostolic Church in Lahore was set on fire by extremists over a minor dispute among local Muslims and Christians at the village Bath near Shamki Bhattian Multan Road.
During the incident on January 6 the Holy Bibles and furniture was set alight, and the church building was damaged.
According to Pastor Asher from Shamki Bhattian and Pastor Mehboob, local Christians had organised a healing prayer in the church for the late evening.
Organisers were expecting a large number of people therefore the meeting was arranged to be held in the open air instead of the Church hall. Organisers used loudspeakers to reach everyone – something which is common in Pakistan. It is also said that the Apostolic Church uses loudspeakers during all its services and meetings, but this time it made the local Muslims angry.
During the worship a few Muslim clerics approached the priest in-charge, Pastor Yaqoob Saroya, to ask him turn the loud speaker off as it was a time of Islamic prayer, but the Christians disagreed and continued their healing prayer meeting. After the meeting finished and people went to their homes, the Muslims set the church on fire.
There is no concrete evidence available against the Muslims that set fire to the church, but because of their objection over the use of the loudspeaker, Christians believe the fire was set by those Muslims.
A FIR (first information report) has been registered by the police without nominating or accusing anyone specifically because of a lack of witnesses.
The Police has registered a case against the unknown and has promised a fair investigation in this matter, to find out the reason of the fire. Severe legal action will be taken against anybody found to be involved.