Ahmadiyya Times

Telling the truth should be news – If it happened, it will be here…

Pakistan: Christian leaders pardon Mardan Church arsonists

“The Christian community still has concerns about the security of the church and has asked the army for security arrangements since the church is located in the cantonment area.”

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch | Int’l Desk
Source/Credit: The Express Tribune
By Tahir Khan | November 3, 2012

MARDAN: When angry mobs set the Sarhadi Lutheran Church in Mardan on fire on September 21, along with countless holy books, coexistence efforts went up in flames.

The local Christian community, however, has pardoned the perpetrators, but is asking the army for special security arrangements.

Burning down the church

An angry mob, protesting against the anti-Islamic video The Innocence of Muslims forced their way into the Sarhadi Lutheran Church on September 21, and set  the church, the home and office of the pastor, as well as a library on fire.

“We were shocked when we arrived at the church and saw the destruction of the holy books, said Munawar Akhtar Masih, executive member of the Northern Diocese.

“The demonstrators used some kind of chemical, which not only burnt everything, but also badly damaged the structure of the main service room, houses, office and library,” Masih said.

He added that the structures of the pastor’s house and the adjacent library have been declared unsafe and may have to be demolished.

After ransacking and burning down the structures, the mob wrote slogans on the exterior walls of the church in red.

Pardoning the perpetrators

Christian leaders in Mardan, however, announced that they have pardoned all those involved in the attack for the sake of unity and religious harmony.

“I believe the arsonists were ignorant, as belief in and respect of all divinely revealed books is an article of faith in Islam,” Masih said.

The Christian leaders said they have no enmity with anyone and want to live in peace with other communities.  “We have adopted a policy of forgive and forget,” Masih said, adding that thousands of burnt sacred texts have been buried or thrown away at sea.

The local police had registered an FIR against the unidentified persons and had also arrested some people on suspicion. Masih said the Christian community has left the case for the police to investigate.

The church management has also allowed Muslim students to get admission in the school within the premises of the church.

“Muslim students are welcome to study their regular Islamic Studies curriculum in this English medium school,” Jimmy Mathew of the Diocesan Society told The Express Tribune. Two Muslim teachers are among the teaching staff.

Mardan, the second largest city in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa after Peshawar, has never seen any conflict between the Muslims and Christians. The church burning was also condemned by Muslim groups and was disowned by organisers of the September 21 procession.

Enhanced security

To avoid such incidents in the future though, the Christian community has sought military protection for the church, and other buildings in the compound.

“The Christian community still has concerns about the security of the church and has asked the army for security arrangements since the church is located in the cantonment area,” Masih said.

The heavily-guarded Punjab Regiment Centre, which has been targeted earlier, is located just a few meters away. Over 30 army recruits were killed in a suicide bombing by a teenage terrorist in school uniform in February last year.

The government has deployed police contingents, both near the main gate and inside the compound.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 3rd, 2012.

Read original post here: Pakistan: Christian leaders pardon Mardan Church arsonists

This content-post is archived for backup and to keep archived records of any news Islam Ahmadiyya. The views expressed by the author and source of this news archive do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of Ahmadiyya Times.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s



  • RT @pressahmadiyya: “He is a man full of peace” UNESCO's ambassador to #Mali spoke to us after hearing a landmark address in @UNESCO by th…- 1 year ago
  • RT @NewsMTA: Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) speaks about the Mahdi Mosque in Strasbourg during a press conference. "We also have confide…- 1 year ago
  • RT @ReviewReligions: JUST UPLOADED: A brief summary of His Holiness address to hundreds of guests at the famous Kurhaus hall in Wiesbaden o…- 1 year ago
  • RT @pressahmadiyya: In historic @UNESCO speech, Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community calls for greater tolerance between people…- 1 year ago
  • RT @ReviewReligions: The Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community delivered the historic keynote address at the #UNESCO, highlighting the i…- 1 year ago
  • RT @pressahmadiyya: Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad at UNESCO: “The Holy Prophet (sa) instructed his followers to ensure girls were educated &…- 1 year ago
%d bloggers like this: