After Blasphemy Accusation: Christian Properties in Pakistan Targeted in Vicious Attacks

Farrukh Saif

August 16, 2023

Christian Persecution in Faisalabad: Recent Blasphemy Incident Sparks Concern

Introduction

In Jaranwala ,Faisalabad, Pakistan, a distressing incident has unfolded, raising concerns about the safety of the Christian community. Multiple churches were vandalized, Christian homes were looted and set on fire, and a Christian family was accused of blasphemy. Let’s delve into the details.

The Blasphemy Accusation

Incident in Jaranwala District

On a fateful Wednesday in the Jaranwala district of Faisalabad, tension escalated when a Christian sweeper faced allegations of uttering blasphemous comments against the Quran. Consequently, this accusation ignited a chain of events that shook the local community.

Mob Violence:

The situation took a grave turn as an enraged mob not only demolished the Christian sweeper’s house but also rampaged through churches and other Christian residences in the colony. Consequently, the community was left in shock and despair.

The Police Response

Police Chief’s Statement

Punjab Police Chief Usman Anwar stepped in, assuring negotiations with the protesters. To maintain order, the affected area was sealed off. However, despite these measures, observers noted that the police’s response appeared passive as Christian homes were looted and vandalized.

Legal Action

First Information Report (FIR)

The police took formal action by registering a First Information Report (FIR) with the number 1258/23. The FIR cited violations under Sections 295B (Desecration of the Holy Quran, etc.) and 295C (Using insulting words against the Prophet of Islam) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

Christian Community’s Plight

Bishop’s Concern

The Church of Pakistan Moderator, Bishop Azad Marshall, expressed deep concern. He reported that hundreds of Bibles were desecrated, and Christians endured torment and harassment. Additionally, he emphasized that a Christian family had been falsely accused of violating the Holy Quran.

History Repeating

Past Attacks on Christian Colonies

Tragically, this incident is not an isolated one. In 2009, similar allegations rocked the Gujra Christian Colony, and in 2013, Muslim extremists vandalized and obliterated the Joseph Colony in Lahore. Consequently, the cycle of violence is distressingly familiar.

Escalating Hostility

Alarming Levels of Hostility

Christian communities in Pakistan are facing unprecedented hostility. Social media videos capture disturbing scenes: angry crowds scaling churches, vandalizing symbols of Christian faith, and incitements by Muslim clerics leading to violence.

Looking Ahead

Growing Extremism

An organization working in Pakistan warns that the future might hold even graver challenges for Christians in the country as extremism continues to rise. Consequently, the situation demands immediate attention and concerted efforts to protect religious minorities.

In conclusion, the recent events in Faisalabad underscore the urgent need for tolerance and respect among diverse communities in Pakistan. The international community and local authorities must work together to ensure the safety and rights of all citizens.

Farrukh Saif

Farrukh H. Saif, a courageous Christian human rights activist, established the Farrukh Saif Foundation in 2009 to confront religious discrimination, blasphemy laws, and bonded slavery in Pakistan. His dedication to liberating bonded laborers from brick kilns and advocating for blasphemy victims and asylum seekers has garnered international acclaim. Despite encountering threats and fatwas, his impactful work persists in supporting marginalized communities. In 2018, the foundation merged with The Emergency Committee to Save the Persecuted and Enslaved, enhancing its global outreach.

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