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24 Christian Churches Burnt in Pakistan after being accused of Blasphemy by Muslims - Jaranwala Punjab province

Christian Persecution

According to an inside source in the city there were 24 Church's burnt from 16/7/23 - 18/7/23. Days after Pakistani independence day on 14/8/23. Jaranwala a city 115 km (71 miles) from Lahore Pakistan.

Both Catholics and protestant church's were all burnt and their bibles destroyed.

Videos and photos posted on social media show an angry mob descending upon a church, throwing pieces of bricks and burning it. In another video, two other churches are attacked, their windows broken as attackers throw furniture out and set it on fire.

Church in ruins

Several policemen are seen in the videos watching the situation without intervening to stop the vandalism.

In yet another video, a man is seen climbing to the roof of the church and removing the steel cross after repeatedly hitting it with a hammer as the crowd down on the road cheered him on.

Khalid Mukhtar, a local priest, said most of the Christians living in the area had fled to safer places. “Even my house was burned,” he added.

Mukhtar said there are 17 churches in Jaranwala and he believes most of them were attacked. The authorities did not immediately confirm that figure.

The above does not include smaller sizes church which were also attacked in the days after 16/8/23.

Police

Filed a report against two local Christian residents under Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws. Protestors took maters into their own hands and decided to massacre and kill christians in response to the accusations.

burning christians in Pakistan

The National Commission for Human Rights

Said the number of churches burnt “has risen to eight,” in an update on Wednesday, calling the situation “sad and shameful.”

“We are undertaking all legal measures as required in the situation,” Naved told Al Jazeera.

Multiple churches including the town’s Catholic Church, the Salvation Army Church and the Pentecostal Church, as well as the local Christian colony, were also vandalized and set on fire, Talib told CNN.

Centre for Social Justice

An independent group advocating for the rights of minorities, has compiled data on blasphemy cases in Pakistan, which shows more than 2,000 people have been accused of blasphemy since 1987, and at least 88 people have been killed on these allegations.

Pakistan is among the countries where blasphemy is a crime punishable by the death sentence.

church being attacked

Blasphemy accusations are common in Pakistan.

Under the country’s blasphemy laws, anyone found guilty of insulting Islam or Islamic religious figures can be sentenced to death. While authorities have yet to carry out a death sentence for blasphemy, often just the accusation can cause riots and incite mobs to violence, lynching and killings.

pakistan mulsim representing allah

In 2013, more than 100 homes of Christians were set ablaze

Outraged Muslims in Lahore’s Badami Bagh community, after police arrested a 20-year-old man accused of speaking against the Prophet Mohammed.

Three years earlier, a mother of five from Punjab was convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to hang, after she was accused of defiling the name of the Prophet Mohammed.

Lest we forget Asia Bibi

One of the few who escaped from the government and peoples hands she was freed from death row in 2018, after bing arrested in 2009 she was unjustly accused and in-prison for nearly 9 years in Pakistani prison, she dealt with contact treats for her Christian life. She eventually won her appeal against the conviction and death sentence.

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Aid to the Church in Need is running an emergency campaign for Pakistan. Recently up to 24 churches, hundreds of Christian homes and a Christian cemetery were targeted in an attack in Pakistan which was sparked by reports of blasphemy allegations against two Christians accused of desecrating the Qur’an. ACN is working with project partners on the ground to aid the current needs of the Christian people. To learn more and to make an offering visit www.aidtochurch.org/pakistanappeal

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