Multiple Churches Vandalised in Faisalabad’s Jaranwala Over Blasphemy Allegations: Police – Pakistan

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Jarranwala 4 churches vandelised

Several churches in the Jaranwala tehsil of Faisalabad, Pakistan, were vandalised on Wednesday following blasphemy allegations, according to officials.

The incident also involved the demolition of the house of a Christian cleaner who was accused of blasphemy. An FIR (First Information Report) has been registered against the accused under sections 295B and 295C of the Pakistan Penal Code, relating to defiling the Holy Quran and using derogatory remarks about the Holy Prophet.

Local authorities have stated that the incident occurred in narrow lanes where small churches are situated, with one main church being targeted. Portions of the churches have been vandalised.

Efforts are underway to contain the situation by engaging with peace committees, and the police across the province have been activated. Additionally, the assistant commissioner of the area, who is a member of the Christian community, has been evacuated due to threats.

Christian leaders have alleged that the police remained passive during the incident. Meanwhile, the Punjab Home Department has sent a request to deploy Rangers in the area, although a decision is yet to be made.

President Bishop of the Church of Pakistan, Azad Marshall, expressed deep concern over the incident. He stated that Bibles were desecrated and Christians were subjected to torture and harassment based on false accusations of violating the Holy Quran. Bishop Marshall demanded justice and swift action from law enforcement and the justice system, emphasizing the need for the safety and value of all citizens.

Former senator Afrasiab Khattak condemned the incident and called for the perpetrators to be held accountable. He also criticized the Pakistani state for failing to provide security to places of worship for non-Muslims, stating that impunity for crimes committed in the name of religion has emboldened extremists and terrorists.

Senator Sarfaraz Bughti from Balochistan called on the Punjab government to take strong measures to protect churches and Christian communities. He emphasized the responsibility of Pakistanis in ensuring the safety of minorities and preventing the situation from deteriorating further.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing, and updates will be provided as more information becomes available.

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