Christians Shot, Attacked With An Axe In Pakistan For Trying To Build A Church

Pakistan is a nation that does have a lot of Christian persecution. However, due to various reasons, it can be difficult to verify stories about Christian persecution coming from that country, as the sources at times are not always reliable or trustworthy. This is not to say that such violence does not happen, but that one needs to exercise more caution when dealing with this area.

According to one story coming from the Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN), two Christians were attacked following a long-term argument with a local Muslim family over building a church. One was shot in the head leaving him paralyzed, and the other was attacked with an axe.

Azeem Gulzar has been left half-paralyzed after being shot in the head in a mob attack on a church under construction in Pakistan.

Gulzar, 25, was released from the Civil Hospital Sahiwal on Feb. 24, three weeks after his family tried to resist 15 armed men from pulling down the wall of the church. The Christian tailor had donated his 51-square-meter plot in a village in Punjab’s Sahiwal district for a community church. The Muslim-majority village is home to about 150 Christians.

“He is unable to communicate and is paralyzed from the right shoulder down. One of my cousins is recovering from the wound of a bullet that slightly hit his skull. My uncle was also injured with an axe. We are not rich enough to pursue lengthy court cases. Our property is the only hope we had,” Waseem, his younger brother, told UCA News on Feb. 25.

“There is no church in our village. We gather in the house of a local pastor for weekly prayers. We wanted to facilitate the women and elderly who couldn’t travel each Sunday to the nearby city.”

The attack followed months of heated arguments between Gulzar’s family and Muhammad Liaqat, a Muslim schoolteacher who opposed construction of the church on the empty plot that shares a wall with Liaqat’s house. (source)

It is true that political tensions many times are used to drive terrorism. Likewise, it should not be forgotten that terrorism has its roots in Islamic theology, it is permitted by Islamic theology, and it is that theology is exploited by people to drive political changes. This is not to underemphasize either point, but rather to bring balance to both sides.

It is too easy to say that one or another fact of how things work in the world is true, when often times, in varying proportions, it is a combination of both. Islamic terrorism is real, and so is political manipulation, and the two are often used to feed off of each other.

What matters most in all of this is achieving balance and keeping it, for many times what drives violence is manufactured imbalances in a society, often done for malicious purposes. This is one of the reasons why Christianity has been persecuted throughout the centuries, because the faith emphasizes balance and harmony as opposed to exploitation in the name of power.

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