Pakistan authorities support Christians after violent riots

Quran desecration

In response to the violent rioting that erupted over allegations of Quran desecration, Pakistani authorities have taken measures to address the aftermath and ensure the safety of affected communities, including Christians.

Last week, a Muslim mob wreaked havoc on the city of Jaranwala, targeting Christians and their properties. The alleged desecration of the Quran by a Christian man and his friend incited the rampage, resulting in the destruction of over 80 Christian homes and 19 churches.

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar personally visited the area to meet with victims and distributed compensation to nearly 100 Christian families whose homes were damaged or destroyed.

Each household received 2 million rupees (NZ$11,200) to help rebuild their lives. Kakar expressed the government’s commitment to safeguarding minority rights and vowed that none of the rioters would evade punishment, labelling them as “enemies of humanity.”

Despite the compensation efforts, the Christian community remains traumatised, with fears of further violence and an uncertain sense of safety. Christians gathered for a Sunday service amid the wreckage of their church, praying for security and reflecting on their ordeal.

The attack on the churches and homes prompted hundreds to flee, leaving behind devastated properties and painful memories.

Protection of minority rights

The incident has drawn condemnation from across the country, sparking discussions about the need to address religious tensions and protect minority rights.

Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, known for their contentious nature, have often resulted in mob violence and social upheaval. Unproven allegations of insulting Islam can lead to deadly consequences, prompting calls for reforms to prevent such violence.

Efforts to repair the damaged churches are underway, although concerns have been raised regarding the thoroughness of the reconstruction process.

The incident also raised questions about the security of religious minorities in Pakistan and their ability to practise their faith without fear.

As investigations continue, over 125 individuals have been arrested in connection with the violence, and two Christian brothers have been apprehended on charges of blasphemy.


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