After torn and defaced pages of a copy of the Quran were allegedly found near a Christian area of Jaranwala, Pakistan, local mosques put out a call for revenge — a call amplified on mosque loudspeakers and through social media.
In an attack that continued for more than 10 hours, thousands of angry Muslims rampaged through the Christian area in the industrial district of the city of Faisalabad. Twenty-five churches were destroyed, a Christian cemetery was desecrated, and Christian homes were looted with possessions burned in the streets. The office of the assistant district commissioner — a Christian — was also destroyed.
Multiple reports say police watched the ongoing violence rather than intervening to protect Christians. Having been warned ahead of time, many Christian families fled the area, seeking shelter with friends or relatives to avoid the violence.
Two Christians, the alleged blasphemers, were arrested. According to Pakistan’s blasphemy law, they could face the death penalty. The government has also arrested more than 100 members of the mob.
Please pray for Christians in Pakistan as attacks like these threaten Christians throughout the country. Pray for front-line workers ministering to families who have lost everything in this attack. Pray that God will meet the needs of Christians affected by the violence. Pray that government leaders will intervene to protect Christians and that the attackers will be held accountable.
We invite you to make a special gift toward Persecution Response. Such a gift allows VOM to provide for Christians’ immediate needs after attacks like last week’s in Pakistan and to walk with affected Christians through the long process of recovery and rebuilding their homes and lives.