Sunday, November 13, 2005

Churches burnt in Pakistan

[From Asianet]

Lahore (AsiaNews) – Three churches, a nuns‘ convent, two Catholic schools, the houses of a Protestant pastor and of a parish priest, a girls’ hostel, some Christian homes, were first vandalized and then set on fire by an angry crowd of around 2,000 people in the village of Sangla Hill, Nankana district in Punjab. At least 450 Christian families fled from the village and they have not yet returned for fear of further violence.


assiniboine said...

Sheesh. Aren’t the Punjabis strange – their women gad about unveiled and they are perpetually offering one a chota peg of “good Indian whisky, not the Pakistani rubbish” and then they turn around and blow up one Christian congregation after another. This is only the latest in a string, you will recall: there was Murree, Taxila, Islamabad and Bahawalpur, not to speak of whole Christian villages in the hinterland, within the past five years. Whereas the Sindhis, altogether a more conservative, not to say tribal, people, confine their sectarian animosity to other Muslims whose denominations they consider schismatic. I amend the list of hymns I am burning to CD for you to include the following, by John Greenleaf Whittier, which I heard beautifully sung in Karachi Cathedral — in Urdu but to Hubert Parry’s magnificent tune:

Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
forgive our foolish ways.
Re-clothe us in our rightful mind,
in purer lives thy service find,
in deeper reverence, praise.

In simple trust like theirs who heard,
beside the Syrian sea,
the gracious calling of the Lord,
let us, like them, without a word,
rise up and follow thee.

O Sabbath rest by Galilee,
O calm of hills above,
where Jesus knelt to share with thee
the silence of eternity
interpreted by love.

Drop thy still dews of quietness,
till all our strivings cease;
take from our souls the strain and stress,
and let our ordered lives confess
the beauty of thy peace;

Breathe through the heats of our desire
thy coolness and thy balm;
let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm.

Gashwin said...

That was sung in Urdu? Heavens! It's hard to imagine.

Of course, I know nothing at all of modern Indian hymnody, in any of the vernaculars. Almost all the Masses I assisted at in India were in English (one or two in Konkani and Marathi).