Pakistani Christians Flee as Mobs Attack Churches: Christians from the Punjab town of Jaranwala, near Faisalabad, have fled after mobs attacked about 15 churches and destroyed hundreds of Christian homes.
Videos and social media posts Local residents indicated that the mobs were incited by claims of an alleged violation of religious scriptures by two Christian residents, which were broadcast over the mosque’s loudspeakers.
However, the two accused have been charged with insulting Islam and defiling the name of the Prophet Mohammed. While a heavy contingent of police reached the area and assured the growing mob that the suspects would be apprehended and would face action under the law, videos showed the crowds proceeding to attack the colony, demanding to execute the two men themselves.
After a visit to Jaranwala, the vicar of the Faisalabad Catholic Diocese, Rev. Father Abid Tanveer, disclosed to Aid in Need, a Catholic charity organization, that Jaranwala is still unsafe.
“This situation has been very terrifying. The Christians are very scared. Please pray for our people, that their lives may be protected. So many people have lost their belongings, everything. They don’t know what to do or where to go
span id=”editable-content-within-article0190″ class=”css-1f8sqii”>According to Father Tanveer, 13 churches from various Christian denominations had been attacked, with several of them being destroyed along with a catechist’s home and a parish house.
He said that Father Khalid, parish priest of St Paul’s, Jaranwala, had to lock himself inside the parish house as extremists surrounded it, shouting and demanding he come out.
Eventually, they left, enabling the priest to leave, and shortly after, the attackers returned and torched baptismal, marriage, and death certificates held in the parish office.
Speaking about the incident, a local resident contacted by ACN said the attackers began throwing furniture out into the streets while calling for the murder of the alleged blasphemer.
“It is absolutely terrifying. We do not know what is going to happen next.” a Christian in Faisalabad told ACN.
“We totally condemn this act of brutal terrorism. The people who attacked innocent Christians and burned their homes have a mindset of terrorism.” a leading clergyman from Faisalabad said.
I am gutted by the visuals coming out of Jaranwala,#Faisalabad. Stern action would be taken against those who violate law and target minorities. All law enforcement has been asked to apprehend culprits and bring them to justice. Rest assured that the government of Pakistan stands… https://t.co/GHWUGA1NNq
— Anwaar ul Haq Kakar (@anwaar_kakar) August 16, 2023