Pakistani Christians expelled from their homes

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Zenit.org, a Catholic news agency, reports that Pakistani Christians are being forced from their homes, to allow them to be used a shelters for earthquake victims.

Christians are being expelled from their homes in Pakistan to make room for victims of the earthquake that hit Kashmir and the northwestern region of the country in early October.

Reports from Catholic leaders spearheading the relief work following the earthquake say that hundreds or even thousands of people near Joharabad, close to Pakistan—controlled Kashmir, are being made homeless, with no prospect of alternative accommodation being found.

In an interview with Aid to the Church in Need, Bishop Anthony Lobo of Islamabad—Rawalpindi said he feared that the incident of forced ejections he had uncovered was just one of many taking place across the region.

The bishop continued: "In one district near Joharabad, all the people are being thrown out —— all of them are Christians. We are the most vulnerable people, we are very poor and we are easy targets."

He said the ejections were all the more insulting to the Christian community because the government had plenty of land of its own on which to house the displaced Kashmiri people.

But, according to the bishop, the authorities preferred housing the refugees in Christian homes because it would save them the costly and time—consuming task of erecting shelters on alternative sites.

N.S. Rajaram  12 03 05

Zenit.org, a Catholic news agency, reports that Pakistani Christians are being forced from their homes, to allow them to be used a shelters for earthquake victims.

Christians are being expelled from their homes in Pakistan to make room for victims of the earthquake that hit Kashmir and the northwestern region of the country in early October.

Reports from Catholic leaders spearheading the relief work following the earthquake say that hundreds or even thousands of people near Joharabad, close to Pakistan—controlled Kashmir, are being made homeless, with no prospect of alternative accommodation being found.

In an interview with Aid to the Church in Need, Bishop Anthony Lobo of Islamabad—Rawalpindi said he feared that the incident of forced ejections he had uncovered was just one of many taking place across the region.

The bishop continued: "In one district near Joharabad, all the people are being thrown out —— all of them are Christians. We are the most vulnerable people, we are very poor and we are easy targets."

He said the ejections were all the more insulting to the Christian community because the government had plenty of land of its own on which to house the displaced Kashmiri people.

But, according to the bishop, the authorities preferred housing the refugees in Christian homes because it would save them the costly and time—consuming task of erecting shelters on alternative sites.

N.S. Rajaram  12 03 05