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Muslims repair attacked Punjab church
Published Date: September 16, 2010
In a rare gesture of religious co-existence, a group of Muslims repainted and repaired the church attacked in Punjab amid rumors of Qur’an desecration in the United States.

“The Muslim community themselves came and whitewashed the church, repairing everything that was burned,” says an official of the Catholic Church in Punjab.

The group also replaced the doors, ceiling fans and bought new benches for the church, according to Father Peter Kavumpuram, public relations officer of Jalandhar diocese.

The Protestant Church of North India in Malerkotla was attacked Sunday night following reports of desecration of the Qur’an in the US on Sept. 11, marking the ninth anniversary of terrorist attacks in New York.

“Some 150 ‘hooligans’ opened the church, collected all the pews and burned them completely,” said Father Kavumpuram.

The priest commended the town administration for doing a good job in controlling the mob, securing the church and protecting Christians all over Punjab.

On Tuesday Catholic Father Maria Selva Dass also organized a prayer service in the same church with Muslim leaders present, Father Kavumpuram added.

He reported that three policemen were injured in the attack and a motorcycle of the department was burned. One police man was injured as he collected Bibles to save them from being burned.

Police have registered cases against five people who allegedly sent short messages on mobile phones to gather the attackers near a mosque.

The priest said that the Church is doubting as to whether the act was done by the Muslims. “Are there some political motives behind it? That is the question,” he asked.

Malerkotla, the only Muslim majority town in the Sikh majority state, has a rare history of religious co-existence. While the whole of northern India witnessed hysterical Hindu-Muslim riots following the partition of India in 1947, no Muslim was attacked in Malerkotla, according to history books.

Moreover, records show that Sikhs in the region protected Muslims as a sign of respect for the Muslim king of erstwhile principality Malerkotla, who protected a Sikh guru against assassination attempts by religious fanatics.

Source: ucanews.com

 
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The attacked Protestant Church of North India in Malerkotla
 
 
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