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Christians Protest in Pakistan Over Torched Homes

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Christian demonstrators marched in several major Pakistani cities Sunday to protest the burning down of the homes of more than 100 Christians a day earlier over an alleged blasphemy incident.

Protesters gathered in the capital Islamabad and across a main highway in Lahore, with some demanding that the government rebuild the destroyed homes and others imploring the government to better protect minorities.

On Saturday, thousands of Muslims rampaged through a Christian enclave in Lahore after hearing reports that a Christian had made derogatory remarks about the Prophet Muhammad to his Muslim friend. Following the violence, hundreds of Christian families fled the area.

Police in eastern Pakistan have detained scores of people accused of torching the homes. The Christian man also is in police custody and faces a possible blasphemy charge.

Muslim-majority Pakistan has some of the world's toughest penalties against blasphemy. Anyone found guilty of insulting Islam and the Prophet Muhammad faces the death penalty.

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