Pakistan court drops charges over arson attack
ARSON charges against 112 Pakistanis suspected of having set fire to a predominantly Christian neighbourhood, the Joseph Colony district, in Lahore, after a blasphemy rumour circulated, have been dropped by a court in Pakistan. Two churches, and more than 125 homes were burnt down in 2013, after a rumour spread that a Christian man had made derogatory remarks about the Prophet Muhammad. The charges against the suspects, who were already out on bail, were dropped owing to lack of evidence, a defence lawyer said.
Indian priest fined after attempt to smuggle gold
A ROMAN Catholic priest, Fr Isaac Kizhakkeparambil, from India, has been fined almost £1000 by customs officials at Cochin International Airport after they found three gold ingots, disguised as chocolate bars, hidden in his luggage, according to news reports. The priest was returning to India after spending time working in Switzerland, when he was noticed acting suspiciously in the “Nothing to declare” line.
Patriarch welcomes Christians back to Iraq
THE Chaldean Patriarch of Babylon and Archbishop of Baghdad, the Most Revd Louis Raphael Sako, has visited villages in the Nineveh plain, in Iraq, that were recently liberated from the control of Islamic State (IS). A cross was raised on the roof of the Chaldean church in the town of Tel Kaif as the Patriarch welcomed returning Christians back into the church, which was closed by IS militants. The Patriarchate has also donated the equivalent of £317,000 towards rebuilding homes and churches destroyed during the occupation.