Mob burns Christian churches, homes in Faisalabad after blaspheme allegations




A mob of Muslim men burns Christian churches in Faisalabad, causing extensive property damage to many churches, a cemetery and dozens of homes, after accusing its members of desecrating a copy of the Qur’an.

Dozens of people attacked a Christian-majority neighborhood on Wednesday, with sticks and rocks in their hands. Social media posts featured photos of people setting fire to furniture and flames rising from churches.

According to rescue official present at the site, the attack was caused by group of religious extremists accusing nearby Christian family of desecrating a copy of the Qur’an.

“Photos and video clips of burnt pages of the Qur’an were shared among the locals, which created an uproar,” Rana Imran Jamil, a spokesperson for the city’s 1122 rescue service, told AFP. He said four churches had been set on fire and there were no reports of injuries. After clerics made statements in mosques inciting the mob, a Christian leader named Akmal Bhatti told Reuters that the crowd had set fire to at least five churches and stolen goods from residences that had been abandoned by their owners.

This is not a standalone incident of violence against religious minorities. Many social media users expressed dismay over the event, recalling the basic tenets of Islam which safeguards and protects the rights and safety of minority communities.