NewsAngry crowds attack churches in Pakistan - DW - August 16, 2023

    Angry crowds attack churches in Pakistan – DW – August 16, 2023

    According to Pakistani media, a Salvation Army and Presbyterian church and two evangelical churches were vandalized. The mob also demolished the house of a Christian accused of blasphemy.

    “The situation is tense and we are trying to defuse it,” said an official familiar with the incident. The mob accused at least two Christians of degrading the Koran – the holy book of Islam. However, it was unclear what the believers were specifically accused of.

    Bishop asks for help

    Pakistan’s Protestant Bishop Azad Marshall urged the police to take action. “As I write this message, a church building is being burned down,” Marshall wrote on the online platform X, formerly Twitter. “Bibles have been desecrated and Christians have been tortured and harassed because they have been falsely accused of violating the Holy Quran.”

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    Pakistan’s ex-Prime Minister Sharif (right) strongly condemned the attacks on Christian institutionsImage: Arif Ali/AFP

    Pakistan’s former prime minister, who was in office until a few days ago, condemned the riots. “There is no room for violence in any religion. All religious places, books and personalities are sacred and deserve our highest respect,” wrote Shehbaz Sharif on X. “Such madness cannot be allowed.”

    Accusations of blasphemy keep coming

    There have been repeated cases of deadly violence in Pakistan following allegations of blasphemy. In February, a crowd stormed a police station, killing a man. In March, three teachers at an Islamic girls’ school beheaded a colleague. In 2020, a US-Pakistani national was shot dead in a courtroom during an ongoing hearing.

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    Pakistan’s blasphemy laws provide for death in extreme cases for insulting Islam or the Prophet Mohammed. Those accused of this are often targeted by extremists even before they are convicted. Human rights activists criticize that the accusation is often used against religious minorities.

    haz/qu (dpa, kna, rtr, afp)

    Source: DW

    This post is posted by Awutar staff members. Awutar is a global multimedia website. Our Email: [email protected]


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