In Bahawalpur, Pakistan, the administration has ordered that Christians can only offer Sunday Prayers in Churches only not in houses.

There are only four Church Buildings in the city and they were built before independence or before 1971.

Churches are not permitted to be built on sites within 200 metres from any Mosque or within 100 metres of a Muslim residential area.

They must not use loudspeakers during prayers and their services timing will not tally with Muslim prayers in Mosques in that locality. The hoisting of crosses on gates of new church buildings also needs special permission.

After 2000, the evangelical Church missions started their preaching in Pakistan and millions of congregates of Catholics, Anglicans, Methodists and Presbyterians joined it.

Because of their small membership and limited funds, they were unable to build churches, and instead started holding services in houses.

According to reports the orders were issued in July 2016 when some local Muslims complained about being disturbed by the prayers of Christians.

Nasir Saeed Director CLAAS-UK has expressed his grave concern over the closing of house Churches in Pakistan as article 20 states that (a) every citizen shall have the right to profess, practise and propagate his religion; and

(b) every religious denomination and every sect thereof shall have the right to establish, maintain and manage its religious institutions.

He said: “This is sad as the government violating Christians constitutional rights. Though churches are under attack and set on fire by extremists, the government has never closed down places of worship of Christians in the past. Therefore, there is urgent need for the government to review its decision and let Christians enjoy their constitutional right.” The Pakistani government must also observe its international obligations.