By Mike MacLachlan
The US government should take action over the burning of a Qur’an by the Dove World Outreach Center, Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha of Lahore has said.
The burning, at the non denominational 50-member Christian sect in Florida on March 20, led to protests in which at least 24 people were killed in Afghanistan. Protests have also taken place across Pakistan.
“The US government talks about religious freedom – but we call upon [it] to prevent such actions by extremists and other fundamentalist Christians,” the president of the bishops’ conference of Pakistan told Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) in an interview from Lahore.
In a statement yesterday, ACN’s London office said Archbishop Saldanha questioned reports from Pakistan linking unrest sparked by the burning to recent attacks on three churches but stressed the strength of feeling expressed by Muslim protesters.
“Although there have not been any reactions against Christians, it could become ugly,” he said.
In a statement at the weekend, president Barack Obama said: “The desecration of any holy text, including the Qur’an is an act of extreme intolerance and bigotry.
“However, to attack and kill innocent people in response is outrageous and an affront to human decency and dignity.”