Pakistan: Christian family accused of blasphemy, sparks Church vandalism spree


Faislabad: A wave of destruction and chaos engulfed Faisalabad, Pakistan, as at least five churches were vandalized and Christian settlements were ravaged in the aftermath of allegations against a Christian family for blasphemy. The incident, which occurred in Faisalabad’s Jaranwala district, has left a trail of devastation and anger.

Accusation sparks unrest

On a fateful Wednesday, tensions escalated after a Christian man, employed as a cleaner, was accused of making derogatory remarks against the Quran. This accusation triggered a violent response from local Muslims, resulting in not only the demolition of the accused’s home but also the targeted destruction of churches and Christian properties in the vicinity.

Mob fury captured on social media

Social media was inundated with shocking videos showcasing an enraged mob scaling church structures and desecrating the holy cross, an emblem of deep reverence for Christians. Some videos revealed religious leaders encouraging the mob, warning of further escalation if swift action wasn’t taken against the alleged blasphemers.

Local voices and dismal response

Christian leaders like Akmal Bhatti reported that the mob laid waste to at least five churches, setting them ablaze and looting homes. Imran Bhatti, another local Christian leader, confirmed the vandalism of four churches in Jaranwala. While Punjab police chief Usman Anwar claimed negotiation attempts, local Christians expressed frustration, alleging that law enforcement stood idly by during the violence.

Call for justice

An FIR was registered against the accused Christian man under sections 295B and 295C of the Pakistan Penal Code, relating to defilement of the Holy Quran and derogatory remarks against the Holy Prophet. The situation garnered international attention, with President Bishop of the Church of Pakistan, Azad Marshall, highlighting the desecration of Bibles and the suffering of Christians who were falsely accused.

A cry for accountability

Amid the turmoil, former senator Afrasiab Khattak condemned the situation, emphasizing the failure of the Pakistani state to safeguard places of worship for non-Muslim communities. He underscored that impunity for religiously motivated crimes has emboldened extremists. A call for swift justice and accountability resonates throughout the affected community, demanding reassurance that their lives hold value in their homeland.

In a country grappling with religious tensions, the incident underscores the urgent need for unity, tolerance, and the protection of minority rights. As investigations proceed and tensions simmer, the world watches to see if justice will be served and if steps will be taken to prevent future outbreaks of violence.

The post Pakistan: Christian family accused of blasphemy, sparks Church vandalism spree appeared first on News24.

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Pakistan: Christian family accused of blasphemy, sparks Church vandalism spree
Pakistan: Christian family accused of blasphemy, sparks Church vandalism spree
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