UCAN report: Catholic Church authorities have filed a police report after a deacon was shot and two priests beaten for trying to prevent floodwaters from entering their church in Faisalabad.
The women said, “water from overflowing drain pipes needed to flow into the church compound otherwise it would enter their homes,” he recounted.
Four Catholic youths later jumped over the church gate, assaulted two priests from the church and shot the deacon, fracturing his elbow, said Father Paulus.
Deacon Arif is presently recovering at the parish after spending a day in hospital. Those responsible for the violence are still at large despite a formal complaint by parish officials with the local police station.
Parishioners remain divided over the violence with some, stirred up by local Christian politicians, justifying the violence and others condemning it as they felt drain water flooding the church would have desecrated it, said Father Paulus.
“We understand the psychological impact of the most devastating flood in the country. People are desperate,” he said. “We forgive the culprits but want to discourage the trend of targeting Church workers.”
Father Paulus said the area was severely flooded after more than 10 hours of rain that day. The church is located near a Christian-majority slum.
“People are under stress and frustrated due to the flood situation. This reason led to violence,” Bishop Joseph Coutts of Faisalabad told ucanews.com on Aug. 12. “This shows the extent of psychological trauma people suffer because of the devastating flood,” he added.
More than 1,600 people have died from the floods, which have disrupted the lives of about 14 million people, according to media reports.
Doctors and paramedics at medical camps have also reported post-traumatic stress disorders among people, mainly women.