Christians stage protest outside Pakistan embassy in London against burning, desecration of churches

15 20

Christians from all over Europe on Monday gathered outside the Pakistan High Commission in London to protest against the rising cases of burning and desecration of Churches and attacks in Pakistan.

The protestors have claimed that their demonstration was against the barbaric attack on 21 churches and hundreds of Christian homes in Jaranwala, Pakistan over alleged desecration of the Quran.

They have also demanded to bring the perpetrators of heinous crimes to justice.

On Monday, a Christian youth was arrested by the Pakistan Police under the blasphemy law and Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) 2016 for reposting and resharing alleged hate material (letter), reported Dawn News.

Dawn News reported that the letter which was shared by the youngster had contributed to the spread of violence against the Christian community in Jaranwala and he was arrested from Chak 186/9-L.

A total of 19 churches were gutted and 89 Christian houses burnt down in recent violence targeting the Christian community in Jaranwala in Faisalabad, according to a fact-finding report of the Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP).

The HRFP report stated that in the August 16 Jaranwala mob attack on churches and Christians, a total of 19 churches were burnt fully while two churches and some prayer rooms/community halls were also affected.

It further said over 400 houses were affected in total with 89 Christian houses including those of pastors and priests being completely gutted while 15 houses were partially destroyed.

The report stated that over 10,000 Christians had hid in sugar cane and other fields, during the first nights of attack.

The HRFP said its report was based on direct information and evidence through the fact-finding mission trip to the sites of the incident, interviews of victims, families, local residents, church leaders, neighbourhoods, journalists, police officials, local authorities, political workers and different stakeholders.

The HRFP team met in person with more than 150 victims and families and church leaders who shared their stories about victimizations and religious persecutions, losses and immediate needs to help them urgently and for a longer time, the report stated. 

The HRFP fact-finding team observed that household items were looted, and the rest were burnt. It said that since the people fled on time, they managed to escape. The human rights team said that most of those who fled are in facing traumatic conditions with several people sustaining injuries and a few women reporting abuses. Most of them were afraid that they did not want to return to their homes ever, the report said.

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