A group of masked men torched a Christian television station in Karachi.
The attack on Gawahi TV took place at approximately 2.30 am local time on November 25. The station was completely destroyed in the fire.
The channel, established in 2013 as a joint Catholic-Protestant venture, sought to “spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to people of all religions who live in Pakistan.” They claim to have an audience of 12 million and broadcast 24/7.
Despite many threats, local authorities had refused to provide security measures.
“It was disheartening to see the entire building and all equipment burned” Friar John Arif of the Diocese of Karachi told Asia News. “The channel was set up to communicate the word of God. There have been threats and now the matter is under investigation. We hope to soon see the channel on air again. We pray for peace and tolerance.”
The Christian community in Pakistan is frequently persecuted, with churches and other Christian establishments receiving threats and attacks. Yet the Christian community has resolved to continue undaunted, even building new churches.
Christians are persecuted in Pakistan through abuse of blasphemy laws which prohibit criticism of Islam. Sometimes Christian girls are kidnapped and forced into marriage with Muslim men. At other times Christians are lynched and businesses attacked in riots.
On one occasion Muslim charities told Christian flood victims that they had to convert in order to receive flood aid.