ACN and CSW reports: Islamic leaders incited attacks, urging crowds to “kill Christians” on mosque loudspeakers

ACN and CSW reports: Islamic leaders incited attacks, urging crowds to “kill Christians” on mosque loudspeakers

The tragic aftermath of the attacks on the Christian community in Jaranwala, Pakistan has caught international attention.

The detailed account below uncovers not only the physical destruction but also the emotional turmoil faced by those affected.

What emerges from these reports is a picture of resilience and faith, along with questions about the response of government authorities.

Initial Reports and Incitements

Reports shared by both ACN and CSW said that Islamic religious leaders also spurred on the attacks by calling for crowds to “go out and kill Christians” on mosque loudspeakers.

The Aftermath: Impact on Victims

What happened to the Christian victims?

After the dust and ash settled from the riots, a total of 3,000 families, or approximately 12,000 to 15,000 people, were affected, according to CSW.

After returning to their communities, the Christians in Jaranwala found empty shells of their former homes.

Their possessions were looted and damage to their infrastructure left many without electricity or water.

ACN’s source said there was “nothing left” and that “in the churches they have attacked, everything is destroyed,” including the altar and statues.

“What they did to the statues of Jesus and Mary I cannot begin to describe,” the source said.

Thirty-six churches were desecrated and approximately 3,000 Christian families lost their homes and all their possessions, according to CSW.

The Response: Christian Resilience

How did the Christians respond?

Amid all this, the Christians in Jaranwala have responded to the crisis with incredible bravery.

[…] On Aug. 19, pictures and videos circulated on social media of Dominican nuns visiting with the Christian community and comforting them.

Catholic relief group Caritas Pakistan, a branch of Caritas International, was also on the ground giving aid to the victims by offering food and supplies while priests from the group provided spiritual comfort.

Demands for Justice

In a statement published on the website for “Catholics in Pakistan,” Islamabad Archbishop Joseph Arshad, president of the Pakistani Catholic Bishops’ Conference, said he has “appealed to the Punjab [provincial] government to take immediate and strict legal action against the attackers.” […]

Across the country, Christians gathered to protest the violence, the BBC reported.

In the U.S., U.K., and Canada, Pakistani Christians rallied in support of the persecuted Christians in their homeland.

Government Response

How did the government respond?

Local authorities were quick to express solidarity with the Christian community in Jaranwala and to condemn the attackers.

[…] Despite government promises, some Christians are not so optimistic that justice will be served.

“Once again,” Travas said, “we have the same old condemnations and visits by the politicians and other government officials expressing their solidarity with the Christian community and that ‘justice will be done’ but in reality nothing materializes and all is forgotten.”

Commentary

The story of the Jaranwala attack is one of both devastation and determination.

The Christians’ response, characterized by bravery and resilience, stands in stark contrast to the destruction inflicted upon them.

Meanwhile, the governmental responses, though promising on the surface, leave lingering doubts about the commitment to justice.

This incident serves as a sobering reminder of the complex social and political challenges faced by minority communities in Pakistan and calls for a concerted effort to ensure their protection and rights.

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