Church Screening of ‘Jesus Film’ Attacked in Pakistan

by | Dec 15, 2009 | Charisma Archive

Some 50 Muslim
villagers armed with clubs and axes attacked a showing of the Jesus Film near Sargodha,
Pakistan, on Wednesday night, injuring three
part-time evangelists and four Christians in attendance.

Two of the
evangelists were said to be seriously injured. The Muslim hardliners also
damaged a movie projector, burned reels of the film and absconded with the
public address system and donations from Christian viewers in Chak village,
about 10 kilometers northeast of Sargodha, at 7 p.m.

Officers at the
Saddr police station refused to register a case against the Muslim assailants,
sources said.

Compass
observed three part-time
evangelists—Ishtiaq Bhatti, Imtiaz Ghauri and Kaleem Ghulam—screening the
film within the premises of the Catholic Church of Chak, which sits within the
police precincts of Saddr police station-Sargodha. Bhatti said the church
compound was crammed with Christian villagers clapping as the film showed Jesus
Christ performing miracles, raising the dead, casting out evil spirits and
healing ailments.

Injured
Christians were taken to the Basic Health Unit (BHU) of Chak village. Bhatti was
treated for minor injuries, while Ghauri and Ghulam sustained serious injuries
for which they received treatment at another hospital.

The evangelists
who were screening the film said from their clinic beds that a Muslim cleric
instigated the Muslim villagers, who were armed with clubs, spades and
axes.

“They charged on
us deadly and swiftly and left us injured and broke all our appliances and took
away funds collected by congregants to help us,” Bhatti said. “Muslim men also
injured those Christian villagers who tried to intervene and stop them.”
 

The intervention
of Chaudhary Nassar-Ullah Cheema, headman of the village, resulted in the rescue
of the Christian evangelists and the surrender of the Muslim mob, sources told
Compass. The Muslim hardliners were forced to evacuate the church grounds, but
only after a stand-off of nearly two hours.

Eyewitnesses who
requested anonymity told Compass that numerous
Muslim villagers and their clerics had gathered outside the church compound as
the film played, with some of them climbing trees to get a clearer view of the
screen. The eyewitnesses said that as soon as the Muslim attackers watched the
resurrection and ascension of Christ, they became enraged because their version
of Islam forbids portraying an image of a living thing and especially that of a
prophet.

The sources
added that although Muslims hold Christ as a prophet, they believe he was never
crucified, having been replaced by a man identical to him.

No doctor was
initially available for the four injured Christian viewers and three preachers
who were taken to the BHU of Chak, but a male nurse treated their wounds and
allowed them to go home. Ghauri and Ghulam sustained critical injuries and were
transferred to District Headquarters Hospital in Sargodha.

Asad Masih, a
local Christian leader, told Compass that they tried to register a case against
Muslim villagers for thrashing (Article 337 of the Pakistan Penal Code) stealing
(Article 380), recovery of the stolen items (411) and desecrating the church
building, but police scornfully rejected their application. Officers
peremptorily told them to settle the dispute in a local jury of village elders,
he said.

Inspector Azeem
Warriach of Saddr police station told Compass that registration of a case
against a large number of Muslim villagers would further create a break-down of
law and order.

“Therefore, I’ve
directed them to solve the problem at the local level so that they might
reconcile and live in perfect peace and harmony,” he said.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

The Church Revived: 3 Keys to the Emerging Move of God

The Church Revived: 3 Keys to the Emerging Move of God

During the past two years, I believe the church at large has been in a season of returning to God. Repentance is crucial when it comes to revival. Scripture shows a clear pattern that repentance precedes the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (see Joel 2:12-28 and Acts...

How Divine Wrestling Changes Our Identity

How Divine Wrestling Changes Our Identity

All of us at some point will hit a place of getting the wind knocked out of us. We all experience unexpected detours and times when there seems to be no way out. But there is One who lives in us, the Lord Jesus Christ, who gives us the strength to overcome obstacles....

Spirit-Filled Pastor: How Does God Lead Us Today?

Spirit-Filled Pastor: How Does God Lead Us Today?

Whether it is the Spirit leading or forbidding in the book of Acts, or the Spirit leading throughout Christian history, it’s clear that the leading of the Spirit is important. In the Old Testament, it appears that the Spirit of God could be withdrawn completely from...

Joyce Meyer: Keys to Winning Your Race in Life

Joyce Meyer: Keys to Winning Your Race in Life

Everyone has a race to run. That just means we all have a life to live. The apostle Paul says in Hebrews 12:1 (NIV), “Therefore...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for...

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am the Consuming Fire’

Prophetic Word: The Lord Says, ‘I Am the Consuming Fire’

God says that during this season, He is turning up the heat, finding the gold and bringing His refining fire. Job makes a powerful statement of faith as he says of the Lord, "When he has tried me, I shall come out as gold." God knew Job's heart and Job knew the heart...

What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

What Is ‘The One Thing’ God Wants From You?

In 1971, I was invited to spend one month in Singapore at a new institute that had been started by John Haggai. It was still in the formative stages then—a place where Asian church leaders would be trained and challenged to witness for Christ. Today, more than 40...

RECENT ARTICLES

Bill Johnson: Reformers Are Arising to Transform Our World for Christ

Throughout history, reformers have lived with the conviction of the superiority of the gospel of Jesus Christ to transform individual lives, communities, and ultimately, nations. Recently I had the...
37 Prayers for the Suffering Persecuted Church

37 Prayers for the Suffering Persecuted Church

It was a Pentecost bloodbath and most Christians never heard about it. More than 50 Christians were killed in one of the deadliest terror attacks on Nigerians this year. Scores of gunmen rushed in to kill Christians in the midst of worship. All told, over 360 million...

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

The United States: Birthed in Prophetic Symbolism

One of the most amazing facts about the Founding Fathers of our nation is this: The one referred to as the "voice" of the revolution (John Adams) and the one referred to as the "pen" of the revolution (Thomas Jefferson) both died on the same day—July 4, 1826—exactly...

Why Did God Give ‘This’ to Me?

Why Did God Give ‘This’ to Me?

It’s a question I frequently hear. It’s one I’ve asked. And maybe it’s one you’ve asked, too. The question is, “God, why did You give this to me?” This can be any number of issues, from emotional or psychological struggles to symptoms or sicknesses, disabilities or...

No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

No Evil Can Stop What God Has Planned

I sense it. And I perceive a growing number of people in massive proportions sense the increasing momentum of power and might worldwide. Something is on the horizon—something more eerie and ominous than what the people of the world have ever before experienced. Even...

Pin It on Pinterest