International

8 months ago

9 churches set ablaze in Pakistan's Punjab province after blasphemy allegations

churches set ablaze (symbolic picture)
churches set ablaze (symbolic picture)

 

Islamabad (August 17,2023) : At least nine churches were set ablaze in Pakistan's Punjab province on Wednesday after allegations of blasphemy were made against a Christian woman. The violence erupted in the city of Faisalabad, where a mob of angry Muslims attacked the churches after a local cleric accused the woman of desecrating the Quran.

The woman, who has not been named, was arrested and is being held by police. She has denied the allegations. The attacks on the churches have sparked outrage in Pakistan, where religious minorities are often targeted by extremists. The government has condemned the violence and vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice. The Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif, has called for calm and urged people to respect the law.

The Chief Minister of Punjab, Hamza Shehbaz, has ordered an investigation into the attacks. The violence is a reminder of the challenges facing religious minorities in Pakistan. Christians make up about 1.6% of the country's population, and they have often been targeted by extremists. In recent years, there have been several high-profile cases of Christians being accused of blasphemy and then attacked or killed.

The blasphemy law is a controversial law in Pakistan that carries the death penalty. It has been used to target religious minorities, and it has been criticized by human rights groups. The government has promised to reform the blasphemy law, but it has so far failed to do so. The attacks on the churches are a setback for religious freedom in Pakistan. They are a reminder of the need to protect the rights of religious minorities in the country.


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