Muslims build church in Pakistan

  • 17/06/2016

Muslims are building a church for their Christian neighbours in a Pakistan village, in an area known recently for violent persecutions of minorities.

In Khalsabad village near Gojra, Muslim farmers have donated money to help rebuild a church for the village's Christian minority, after it was washed away in the last monsoon rains season.

It's a glimmer of hope for the region where, in 2009, a series of riots targeted at Christians resulted in the death of ten people.

"After the Gojra riots, we are trying to bring people together even more. By building this church we want to show that we are united as a community," villager Ijaz Farooq told the BBC.

The village is relatively unique in Pakistan as it doesn't have segregated housing for minorities. Children of different faiths grow up together, attending each other's weddings and festivals, Mr Farooq said.

Muslim shopkeeper Dilawar Hussain says the church is also a house of Allah, the same God that Muslims believe in. He says he is proud of the efforts to promote religious harmony in the area.

"Only days before Easter, the initiative was taken up by our Muslim brothers," Father Aftab James Paul told Vatican Radio. 

"We are thankful to our Muslim brothers for this wonderful gesture. It makes us feel proud," the priest said.