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Appeal from Pakistan to rebuild St Paul’s Mardan: The Church of England Newspaper, October 14, 2012 p 6. October 19, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, Church of Pakistan, Persecution.
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Bishop Peter Majeed has issued an appeal for assistance to rebuild St Paul’s Church in Mardan.

The “church, bishop’s house, diocesan center, priest’s houses, principal’s house, library and school” were damaged in the attack on 21 Sept 2012, the Lutheran bishop reported.

“This was the third time in two years that the church and my house have been attacked.  First two times the mob were not able to damage the above mentioned places, but this time the mob comprised thousands of people who were protesting against the blasphemous movie and the damage they managed to do was much more severe. The mob managed to get into the church compound, after which they first burnt down the church building, and then stole the cash and other expensive items. A car, three motor bikes and all belongings were stolen from the priest houses. We thank God that our families managed to escape safely,” Bishop  Majeed wrote.

He added the mob also sought to kill the 20 year old son of the Rev. Chan Masih and “tried to throw him in the burning church, but he was saved with the help of some people and police.”

Built in 1937 by Norwegian and Danish Lutheran missionaries, the interior of the church was constructed of Burmese teak. Now “only the ashes are left behind” while the walls are “in danger of collapsing any time.”

The chief minister of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Ameer Haider Khan Hoti, said on 25 September 2012 his government would contribute Rs30 million for the church’s reconstruction.  While the mob was justified in their anger at the YouTube video “Innocence of Muslims”, they were wrong to have burnt a church in response.

“Muslims had the every right to stage peaceful protest on [the festival of] Yum-i-Ishq-i-Rasool. However, unfortunately some miscreants damaged valuable property and destroyed the church. These elements have earned the country and Islam a bad name,” he said.

Bishop Majeed appealed to “all Christians in the world to stand with us in prayers and help us to rebuild the house of God and the houses of His servants, who have been rendered homeless and are living with their friends and relatives.”

First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

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