Pakistani Christians held a protest in front of the Lahore High Court on Tuesday, against the Punjab government's plans to take over the land of four churches in order to build the Orange Line Metro Train project. The demonstrators demanded that the government review its plans, saying they would not give up their holy places.
They waved placards, and were holding crosses, while chanting slogans such as: "we won't give an inch of our holy places", and "we want our rights." The Punjab government intends to acquire large portions of Cathedral Church, Naulakha Church, St Andrew's Church and Bohar Wala Church. The Christian community is determined not to let their churches be destroyed, as they are not only holy, but are a part of Lahore's history and have been in place since before the partition.
Nasir Saeed, Director of (Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement) CLAAS-UK, which campaigns for the rights of Christians in Pakistan, expressed his grave concerns over the ongoing situation of Christians in Pakistan. He said: "There is no respite for them and one problem after the other seems to follow Pakistani Christians.
"The Christians who are still in mourning after the Easter Sunday attack and are still trying to deal with that trauma, are now faced with the issue of the demolition of their four historic churches in Lahore, the capital of Punjab, the province where Christians suffer most.
"These churches were built pre-Pakistan and these all churches are located at very expensive and prime locations which politicians and Islamists are jealous of. They cannot stand that Christians have such prime property and they do not, so try to use any excuse to grab the land and belittle Christians.
This article continues at [Radio Vatican] Pakistan Christians protest against plan to demolish churches