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Angry Muslims Attack Karachi Church
Kara: Christians marched in Karachi over the weekend to protest against a stoning attack on a church, prompted by ongoing anger over a film mocking the Prophet Mohammed.
Archbishop Joseph Coutts led the protest which included about 70 priests, nuns and Christian politicians. The marchers carried banners that called for equal rights for Christians in the wake of the attack on Saint Francis Catholic Church on Friday evening.
A mob of about 100 Muslims pelted stones at the doors and windows of the church, damaging the Marian grotto and parishioners’ vehicles parked in the compound.
Franciscan Father Jamil Albert said churchgoers hid in the dining hall of the parish house during the attack. in which the group also wrote slogans on the wall of the church including “long live the Taliban.”
Only about 30 percent of the congregation turned up for Mass yesterday despite tighter security provided by police.
“We have canceled celebrations for the feast of St. Francis and the archbishop’s pastoral visit to the area,” said Fr Albert.
Police and the Church disagree on what prompted the incident.
Media reports said the Muslim group was originally protesting over power outages in Karachi before the attack. Police said there was a heated argument with Christians which resulted in a physical confrontation.
“We believe the incident was not religiously motivated,” Inspector Aslam Gujjar was quoted as saying in Dawn newspaper on Saturday.
But Bishop Coutts said the attack was prompted by the film Innocence of Muslims, which has prompted a number of violent incidents across the Islamic world.
“The Christian community will keep registering protests until the government ensures safety and security for religious minorities in the country,” he said.
Friday’s attack was the third time Muslims have attacked St. Francis Church since the video appeared on the internet.
A group of people broke into the church on October 6 and last month attackers stoned the compound wall and called Christians infidels.
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