Hundreds of Homes Razed to Ground and Churches Burnt Down: Urgent Situation for Christians in Jaranwala, Punjab


London: (By Hannah Chowdhry and Juliet Chowdhry) In Jaranwala, Pakistan, hundreds of Christian homes have been completely destroyed as a result of an incitement to violence originating from multiple mosques.

Tensions flared within the district following a recent accusation of blasphemy directed at a Christian man.

Numerous brutal assaults have left thousands of individuals injured, and the aftermath has left tens of thousands without shelter.

In pursuit of safety, many families have sought refuge outside the city, relying on the support of friends and relatives. Meanwhile, British Asian Christian Association has already provided housing for 15 families and is committed to aiding even more in need.

In a deeply distressing development, the Christian community in Jaranwala, Punjab, is once again facing a dire situation as reports emerge of hundreds of homes being razed to the ground and three churches being burnt down in three Christian towns within the Jaranwala district. This alarming event which began at 9am (5am GMT) today (16.08.23) has forced numerous families to flee to safer locations, while others remain stranded without shelter.

British Asian Christian Association (BACA), a dedicated humanitarian organization, has launched a rapid response to address the unfolding crisis. BACA is actively engaged with local pastors in the area, coordinating efforts to rescue and provide support to affected families. As of now, BACA has successfully evacuated 15 families from the impacted zones.

Tensions escalated following allegations against a Christian man named Saleem Masih, accused of desecrating the Holy Quran. Certain elements within the local Muslim community reportedly seized upon these accusations to incite violence, making announcements through local mosques that urged people to gather and respond by igniting the Christian towns.

The affected regions, including Cinema Basti, Christian Town, and Esa Nagar, have witnessed the destruction of over 500 houses. Law enforcement agencies have been mobilized to restore order, and in response to the severity of the situation, additional security measures have been implemented, including the deployment of the Rangers.

According to reports provided by on-ground volunteers, Pastors Muratib and Moon, a tumultuous mob of approximately 10,000 individuals has wreaked havoc within the Christian towns. While no casualties have been reported thus far, the situation remains exceptionally volatile.

BACA remains steadfast in its commitment to expeditiously rescue and provide assistance to families caught in this distressing situation. Continual updates on this rapidly evolving scenario will be provided throughout the course of the day in this post – please refresh this post to stay up-to-date.

Juliet Chowdhry, Trustee for British Asian Christian Association, said:

“I am appalled by the sheer magnitude of this violence.

“Innocent Christians are being subjected to brutal attacks, beaten with sticks, all due to yet another allegation of blasphemy, which is likely to be proven false in due course.

“The individuals responsible for these acts seem to have no consideration for the well-being of the children, women, or men they are causing harm to, leaving many without homes.

“Regrettably, there appears to be a distinct absence of law enforcement or military personnel intervening to prevent and defuse this violence.

“Equally concerning is the lack of emergency services or non-governmental organizations offering aid or assistance in these dire circumstances.

“Once again, we are witnessing another distressing day in an intolerant Pakistan.

“The Christian community living there is treated as anathema, and their quality of life has plummeted to an all-time low.”

The British Asian Christian Association (BACA) is actively offering vital assistance to those who have managed to escape the ongoing violence. Emergency housing, food, and clothing are being provided to those in need. Presently, we have successfully accommodated 15 internally displaced families and are determined to extend our support to a greater number, with your generous contribution.

If you wish to contribute and make a difference, please consider making a donation by visiting (here). Your support will play a crucial role in helping us reach and aid more individuals affected by this distressing situation.

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