Jaranwala’s Christian Community Faces Harrowing Injustices Amidst Police Crackdown

Farrukh Saif

September 7, 2023

Jaranwala church

In Jaranwala, the police have unleashed a series of horrific injustices, rounding up innocent Christians. Disturbing videos circulating on social media depict Christians pleading for their loved ones’ safe return from police custody, alleging unjustified arrests solely for questioning related to a destructive arson incident within the Christian community.

Troubling Arrests and Raids and Injustices in Jaranwala

The situation deeply troubles local Christians, as reports suggest mass arrests by the police without proper charges. Christian homes are frequently raided, resulting in men’s arrests and harassment and intimidation of women.

Local Priest’s Frustration

Furthermore, a local priest in Jaranwala has confirmed the illegal detention of at least 20 Christians by the police.He expresses frustration over the lack of information about the investigation and the treatment of their community members. They’ve raised these concerns with senior police officials, who have promised to intervene.

Distress in Chalis Mor Village

Another distressing incident occurred in Chalis Mor village, near Jaranwala, where only three Christian families reside. Here, police conducted raids, unlawfully detaining Christian men. A woman recounts the horrifying experience of police storming her home, assaulting her son, and detaining her husband. Her daughters also suffered abuse, and nearby relatives faced similar fates.

Dismay Over Inspector General’s Statements

Dismay fills local Christian leaders due to a recent press conference by Punjab Police Inspector General Usman Anwar. He suggests a conspiracy involving Indian officials to divert attention from India’s mistreatment of Christians. He cites mob violence in Jaranwala on August 16 and Quran copy desecration in Sargodha on August 19-20 as evidence. Senior Pakistani church leader Bishop Azad Marshal expresses concern that these statements label Pakistani Christians as Indian spies, jeopardizing the entire Christian community.

Bishop Azad Marshal initiates legal action by filing a petition in the Lahore High Court, seeking a judicial commission’s formation to investigate the Jaranwala arson incident comprehensively. He demands justice for police and district administration negligence. He highlights that past incidents like the attacks in Shantinagar, Gojra, and Joseph Colony were ignored by the state apparatus, emphasizing the need to address the root causes of senseless violence against Christians.

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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