PAKISTAN - Crowds Vandalize Churches

Arno Froese

A Muslim crowd attacked a Christian community in eastern Pakistan, vandalizing several churches and setting scores of houses on fire after accusing two of its members of desecrating the Koran, police and community leaders said.

The attack took place in Jaranwala in the industrial district of Faisalabad, police spokesman Naveed Ahmad said. The two Christians were accused of blasphemy, he said, adding they and family members had fled their homes.

Resident Shakil Masih said he heard announcements inciting the mob and then saw crowds heading towards his Christian area.

“I left my home immediately with my family. Several other families did the same,” he told Reuters.

Police said the case against the Christians relates to pages of the Koran found with some derogatory remarks written in red.

Blasphemy is punishable by death in Pakistan and though no one has ever been executed for it, numerous accused people have been lynched by outraged crowds. A former provincial governor and a minister for minorities have also been shot dead because of blasphemy accusations., 16 August 2023

Arno's Commentary

The CIA Factbook estimates the country’s population to be around 248 million people. The official religion is Islam, representing 96.5% of its population, with a barely recognizable percentage of Christians. Life expectancy stands at just under 70 years, and per capita GDP is only $5,200 per year. Nevertheless, it is considered a law-abiding country with freedom of religion. Law enforcement is in the process identifying the perpetrators. The article concludes, “Rights groups say accusations of blasphemy are sometimes used to settle scores. Hundreds of people are languishing in prison after being accused because judges often put off trials, fearing retribution if they are seen as being too lenient, they say.”

Let us pray for the growth of the Church in Pakistan, despite persecution, “Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body” (Hebrews 13:3).

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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