Pakistan: 1,500 Christians protest seizure of property by authorities


Christians in Pakistan have protested against the government of Punjab over the seizure of Christian property.

The Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS) reports that St Francis High School in Lahore is the latest in a string of properties to have been taken over by the Punjab government.

Pakistani Christians have told the organisation that the Punjab government is acting like a "land mafia", underpinned with support by militant groups.

"This is not the only property, but have grabbed over 10 big Christian properties including, church, schools, graveyards and hospitals in Punjab," CLAAS said in a report.

The protest was joined by 1,500 Christians, including the Archbishop of Lahore, Sebastian Francis Shaw.

It was staged after a meeting between Christian leaders and the Lahore Police District Coordination Officer about the return of St Francis School to the Catholic Diocese of Lahore.

CLAAS says the Christian leaders resorted to protesting after the police failed to look into the issue.

They are now threatening to stage a sit-in protest in front of the governor's house and organise a nationwide protest if no action is taken to restore St Francis School to the diocese.