Pakistan Catholics Protest Land Seizure

Schools, Churches, Hospitals Among Properties Seized by Government

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Last Sunday, more than 1,500 Catholics – including priests, religious, children, and young people – gathered to protest the government seizure of Christian-owned land in Anarkali, Lahore.

Lahore Archbishop Sebastian Shaw led the demonstrators, along with other leaders of Christian communities.

The demonstration responded to the seizure of 10 large properties belonging to Christians, including churches, schools, cemeteries and hospitals in Punjab.

According to a report by Fides News Agency, Archbishop Shaw attended another meeting with the local authorities last week to demand the return of land.

The local Church tells Fides News Agency the response of civil authorities was not positive, resulting in anger and disappointment from the Catholic community.

In a note sent to Fides, Fr. Andrew Nisari, Vicar General of Lahore, writes: "Christians played a leading role in the management of schools after the constitution of Pakistan in 1947: the majority of the Pakistani political leadership has acquired education from these institutes. Despite the valuable contributions offered, the Church today is still denied of its right."