A Christian offers prayers on the grave of relatives during All Souls' Day celebrations in a cemetery in Karachi on Nov. 2. Christians in Pakistan are facing increased violence and persecution from the Muslim majority. (Photo: Asif Hassan/AFP)
An attack on a Catholic church in Pakistan has underlined a growing trend of violence and discrimination against religious minorities in the Muslim-majority nation.
More than 30 men raided St. Dominic Catholic Church in Waqya Chak village in Arifwala subdistrict of Punjab province on Nov. 4, destroying its boundary wall and gate. They also removed a cross from a wall.
The attack has triggered fear among about 50 Christian families out of a population of 4,000 in the Muslim-majority village. Church leaders claim religion is often used as a tool to incite violence, while minorities are denied legitimate rights. They say it has become the norm in Pakistan.