Churches torched by Muslim mob in Pakistan over claims of ripped Quran

Thousands of Muslims in Jaranwala, Pakistan set fire to Christian churches and vandalized homes over claims that two people allegedly desecrated the Quran.  

Officers have arrested more than 100 rioters who were taking part in the violence in the country, according to a report from the BBC.  

No deaths have been reported in the carnage that has taken place. Four churches and up to a dozen other buildings, including homes of Christians, were vandalized in the protests.  

In addition, Pakistani police have filed cases of blasphemy against two Christian residents of the country. The law carries a death sentence even though Pakistan has yet to put anyone to death over the charge.  

Mobs have ensued in similar situations where accusations of blasphemy are alleged in the country. For example, in 2017, a mob of fellow students at a college in Pakistan killed one of their classmates after he allegedly posted blasphemy content online. "The mob later fired at the tortured body of Mashal Khan and attempted to set the dead body on fire," a witness at the time said. 

Pakistan's population is at around 96 percent Muslim.  Other countries with similar Muslim concentrations, such as Iran, also impose a death penalty for blasphemy.  

Pages of the Quran were found near a Christian community torn out of the book with red ink marks scribbled on them. Reports of the torn pages circulated and grew online until Christian homes were attacked and looted.  

Pakistan's caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar said he would take "stern action" on those behind the attacks. "All law enforcement has been asked to apprehend culprits and bring them to justice. Rest assured that the government of Pakistan stands with our citizenry on an equal basis," he posted on X.  

Pakistani head of Minorities Alliance Akmal Bhatti told the Christian community, "Today, we have suffered great pain and sorrow when our churches were desecrated and burnt." 

The Pakistani bishops on the "Catholics in Pakistan” Facebook page asked other Christians to "pray for us." 

Image: Title: burning cross


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