ISLAMABAD - Hundreds of Pakistani Christians took to the streets across the country on Sunday, demanding better protection after a Christian neighborhood was torched in the city of Lahore a day earlier in connection with the country's controversial anti-blasphemy law.
Police fired into the air in Lahore and the country's largest city, Karachi, to try to disperse protesters furious at the arson attack, which caused no casualties and was the result of an allegation of blasphemy.
Rights campaigners say the anti-blasphemy law in Pakistan is widely used against religious minorities, including Christians, Ahmadis and Shi'ite Muslims, usually on flimsy pretexts.
Aside from a Taliban insurgency, U.S. ally Pakistan is facing hardline Sunni groups who are determined to wipe out the Shi'ite minority. Suicide bombings have killed over 200 Shi'ites this year, triggering revenge attacks against Sunnis.