This was shared on my Facebook feed claiming that Christians were trapped in the church.

Pakistan: Muslims burned Church While Christians were trapped inside - Hundreds of Muslims celebrate the attack outside the ruined church - Free Speech Time

The video does show a burning church, but I see no indication whatsoever that people were trapped inside:

Pakistani Muslims burn a church

Were there people trapped inside as the title of the article claims?

  • I hate to be that guy. But I am going to say a blogspot site is not a noteworthy site, or even a place to even pretend news should come from. Can you find another source?
    – RomaH
    Mar 6, 2018 at 20:59
  • @RomaH: The notability requirement on this site isn't that the site is veracious, but that it is widely read and believed. If the metric that it has been shared on Facebook 2.6k times is true, that makes it notable. (Is that true though?)
    – Oddthinking
    Mar 7, 2018 at 15:06
  • if I use sharedcount.com I get 32.1k for facebook. which is also confirmed by facebook graph graph.facebook.com/… Mar 7, 2018 at 15:37

1 Answer 1


The events of the video are of an angry mob setting fire to the Sarhadi Lutheran Church in Mardan, Pakistan from 2012. No one was killed.

A subtitle from the linked video reads

"Mob are Ready to Attack on Mardan Church, Pakistan" (sic)

This was a real event that took place on 21 September 2012, as seen from DAWN, Anglican Ink, The Express Tribune, and CBN.com.

From the blogpost you included with your question

Christians were trapped inside

No evidence that A) anyone was trapped inside or B) that anyone was killed

The Islamic persecution of the Christian minority in Pakistan has become genocide.

Again, no evidence that anyone was killed in the attack. Even the most critical of sources provided at the top (CBN) only claims that

The extremists tried to set the pastor's son afire.

without any citation.

The Western world is silent when Islamists attack Christians but scream when Christians defend themselves.

The Express Tribune directly correlates this attack with the release of a movie entitled The Innocence of Muslims, described by Wikipedia as

(...) an anti-Islamic short film that was written and produced by Nakoula Basseley Nakoula.


What was perceived as denigration of the Islamic prophet Muhammad resulted in demonstrations and violent protests against the video to break out on September 11 in Egypt and spread to other Arab and Muslim nations.

One only needs to read that Wikipedia has a page entitled Reactions to Innocence of Muslims to realize that this was not a targeted terrorist attack, but a large scale protest around the world against a video described by Vanity Fair as

Exceptionally amateurish, with disjointed dialogue, jumpy editing, and performances that would have looked melodramatic even in a silent movie, the clip is clearly designed to offend Muslims, portraying Mohammed as a bloodthirsty murderer and Lothario and pedophile with omnidirectional sexual appetites. “Is the messenger of God gay?” one character asks rhetorically. “Is the master dominant or submissive?”

  • 12
    " a religion being offended for the release of a hate-filled movie". A religion is not a person. Persons choose to claim they have been offended. How they then choose to deal with and act on their perceived offence and their supposed hurt feelings — say, for instance, by committing arson and desecration by burning down a house of worship — can then be scrutinised, and judged.
    – MichaelK
    Mar 7, 2018 at 7:35
  • 5
    @JasonR No, religion — again — does not act. Religion is not an agent. Religion is the organised affirmation of faith, performed by persons. Only persons are agents. Persons may point to their religion in order to try to justify their actions, but in the end it is they that decide to act, and onlookers that decide how to judge their actions. This may seem like a petty quibble but it should be made clear that it is persons that act, and persons that judge their actions. Religion cannot act in the matter, nor grant acceptance/condemnation.
    – MichaelK
    Mar 7, 2018 at 12:49
  • 5
    @JasonR Just to be clear: I am completely on the side of Steven Weinberg here (and Christopher Hitchens, from whom I first heard Weinberg's line quoted). The point is to chain the responsibility for people's actions firmly to those people, and not give anyone the chance to dissociate themselves from their actions by arguing in terms of "religion justifies/condemns" or "religion makes it right/wrong to do such things". People decide for themselves. Their religion is not an agent or a person. Religion cannot grant anything, nor be offended.
    – MichaelK
    Mar 7, 2018 at 13:05
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    Could you please post a link to the definition of "terrorist attack" you are using? Google suggests "the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims." Is that not an apt description of the action?
    – Oddthinking
    Mar 7, 2018 at 15:10
  • 2
    @Orangesandlemons it may be a little newspeak, but that doesn't make it false. I linked in the question to other protests that went on around the world in response to a movie that was designed to rile up Muslims, and stated that this was one of many protests. It does not forgive the actions of the arsonists, but it does explain them.
    – DenisS
    Mar 8, 2018 at 15:35

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