The World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) expresses grave concern over the violence against Christians and churches in the Punjab province of Pakistan.
Violence erupted on Wednesday, 16 August, after two Christians were accused of blasphemy and the desecration of the Holy Quran. In the resulting mob violence, three Presbyterian churches, a Catholic church, a Full Gospel Assembly church, and a church belonging to the Salvation Army have been burned. According to local church sources, about five hundred houses in Basti Maharanwala (Jaranwala) are now empty.
The WCRC condemns the desecration of the Holy Quran but equally condemns the violence and the collapse of law and order in which a minority community has been attacked. According to The Guardian, “Christians make up about 2% of the population, occupy one of the lowest rungs in Pakistani society and are frequently targeted with spurious and unfounded blasphemy allegations.”
The Communion stands with its member churches in the region as they struggle to build back their communities.
It calls on the government of Pakistan to restore law, order, and security and, further, to offer protection to the minority Christian community.
The WCRC invites all people of good will and all faiths to work together for the peace and well-being of all and asks its members to join in prayer and advocacy on behalf of their sisters and brothers in Pakistan.
Photo: Ecumenical Commission for Human Development, Pakistan.