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Pakistan: Churches vandalised and set ablaze, Christians under attack by Muslim mobs over alleged blasphemy charges in Jaranwala

"Bibles have been desecrated and Christians have been tortured and harassed having been falsely accused of violating the Holy Quran. We cry out for justice and action from law enforcement and those who dispense justice..." President Bishop of Pakistan, Azad Marshall, wrote on X.

In frightening but unsurprising development from across the border, the Islamists targeted the Christians in Jaranwala of the Faisalabad district in Pakistan, over blasphemy charges. The majority Muslim community attacked the minority Christian community and vandalised churches in the neighbourhood after a Christian citizen, Saleem Masih, was accused of committing blasphemy against Quran.

President Bishop of Pakistan named Azad Marshall took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to express his fear and helplessness over the predicament of Christians in Pakistan following the incident. “Words fail me as I write this. We, Bishops, Priests and lay people are deeply pained and distressed at the Jaranwala incident in the Faisalabad District in Pakistan. A church building is being burnt as I type this message,” he tweeted.

He further added, “Bibles have been desecrated and Christians have been tortured and harassed having been falsely accused of violating the Holy Quran. We cry out for justice and action from law enforcement and those who dispense justice and the safety of all citizens to intervene immediately and assure us that our lives are valuable in our own homeland that has just celebrated independence and freedom.”

A social media user commented, “This is the real face of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, a country of extremists and terrorists. A local Christian family in Jaranwala, Faisalabad, Punjab has been accused of blasphemy by local Muslims. Now local Muslims have attacked a church and are destroying it.”

Several shocking videos of the occurrence are making the rounds on social media where furious Muslims can be seen assaulting the already marginalised minority. A news media account even claimed that the latter are escaping from their houses in an effort to save their lives from the bloodthirsty crowd. It added that the situation in the neighbourhood continued to be tense.

Fire and smoke can be seen coming out of the oldest church in Jaranwala amid the huge presence of Muslim agitators.

There is a palpable fear of burning Christian residences on the pretext of blasphemy by the enraged Muslim throng. Police are present on the spot, however, the state of affairs is highly volatile. Notably, mosques had made the announcement which ended up infuriating the Muslims.

The Christians, their places of worship, and their properties are all under serious attack from the extremists.

It is important to note that Pakistan’s treatment of its minorities, particularly Hindus, is already under the scanner and is severely criticised multiple times in different international reports. The extremists in Pakistan are also notorious for using spurious charges and unfounded allegations to whip up communal passions in the name of blasphemy and for targeting minorities, including Hindus and Christians. This oppression, which is masked with the help of allegations of blasphemy, has become a hallmark of Pakistan, where mob attacks against minorities has become a routine affair, often aided and abetted by the legal systems and people in places of power and authority in the country.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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