Church Burning in Gujjar Khan, Pakistan: A Disturbing Incident Before Easter

Farrukh Saif

March 30, 2024

Church burnt

When Christians around the world celebrate Easter, a church is set on fire in Pakistan.

On the night of March 30th, a disturbing incident unfolded in Gujjar Khan, Rawalpindi, Pakistan. A church was set ablaze by unidentified individuals at 3 o’clock in the morning.

Pastor-in-charge Adeem Alfons expressed deep concern over the attack, linking it to ongoing challenges faced by the church due to the construction of a nearby plaza. The tension escalated as the church had blocked the road for security reasons, leading to disputes with the plaza’s owner. Police intervention was necessary to defuse the conflict.

In the aftermath of the arson, emergency services were summoned to the scene. Tragically, the church and all its contents were consumed by the flames, leaving devastation in its wake. Authorities have launched an investigation into the incident, although no formal complaint (FIR) has been lodged as of yet.

It is worth noting that Pastor Adeem Alfons is actively engaged in translating the Bible into various languages, including the Pothohari dialect spoken in Gujjar Khan. This noble endeavor has faced opposition from certain quarters, adding to the challenges already confronting the church.

In August 2023, a disturbing wave of religious violence swept through Jaranwala, Punjab, Pakistan, as more than 100 churches were set ablaze by Islamist extremists. This reprehensible act of arson not only caused widespread destruction but also instilled fear and insecurity within the local Christian community. The targeted nature of these attacks underscored the growing religious intolerance and extremism plaguing certain regions, highlighting the urgent need for concerted efforts to promote tolerance, coexistence, and respect for religious diversity.

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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