From AP: “Christians protest demolition of church by factory management in Pakistan”
MULTAN, Pakistan – About 150 Christians on Friday protested the demolition of their church by the management of a fertilizer factory in eastern Pakistan, a priest and police said.
The church – located on land owned by the recently privatized Pak Arab Fertilizers Limited – was demolished late Thursday in the city of Multan to allow the company to expand its factory next door, said Umair Ahmed, a company spokesman.
“It was not done because of any religious motive,” he said, adding they had given advance notice to the Christians to vacate the church.
No dialogue, apparently. Just orders to get out.
Mukhtiar Faisal, who purchased the factory last year, was not immediately available for comment.
However, Yaqoob Masih, the priest of the church, condemned the factory management for bulldozing their place of worship, and urged President Gen. Pervez Musharraf to take action.
Masih said a mosque located near their church had not been harmed.
“We begged them not to do it but they demolished our church,” he told the protesters at the rally in Multan, city in eastern Punjab province.
He said the factory management was now offering them money as compensation, but they had turned down the offer.
“We don’t need money. We only need our church.”
Sharif Zafar, an area police chief, confirmed that incident, but said the factory management was still holding talks with the angry Christians to resolve the issue.
Christians make up about 3 percent of Pakistan’s predominantly Muslim population of more than 150 million and generally live peacefully with the Muslim majority.