Violence Against Christian Churches In Pakistan
Blasphemy is a very serious offence in Pakistan. People accused of it have died. Property of offenders has been destroyed. Only two percent of Pakistan’s population is Christian, but it often finds itself assaulted and accused of different offences. Several Christian churches were set on fire by rampaging mobs in Faisalabad, accusing a Christian family of blasphemy. The zealots claimed that the family of desecrating the Quran. “Photos and video clips of burnt page of the Quran were shared among the locals, which created an uproar,” a spokesman for city’s rescue service told those inquiring about the incident. Blasphemy is such a sensitive issue in Pakistan that those deemed to have insulted Islam or Islamic figures can face the death penalty. In the past politicians have been assassinated and students have been lynched over blasphemy allegations.
Images on social media showed smoke rising from church buildings, and people setting fire to furniture dragged from them. Four churches can be verified as having been torched by angry mobs in the city. Authorities have arrested more than 130 people after crowds descended on Christian churches and set them on fire. Police were accused of being slow to act in response to rioting crowds. Pakistan’s Dawn Newspaper in an editorial commented on the incident: “Clearly, in Pakistan, evidence is not required where the issue of blasphemy is concerned, and mobs take it upon themselves to dispense justice.” Fortunately, no lives were loss in this recent tragedy.