A recently released, highly researched report conducted by a senior judge suggests that violence against Christians in Pakistan over the past five years could have been prevented by the country's local authorities.
The report also suggests that the country's blasphemy laws be modified to prevent future violence, primarily through removing special protection for Muslims and inserting punishment for those who exaggerate blasphemy accusations.
The Pakistani government reportedly ordered a senior judge to conduct a review following the anti-Christian riots which took place in 2009 in Gojra town, in the Punjab province of Pakistan, during which eight Christians were killed after angry mobs, fueled by the rumor that a Quran had been desecrated, torched Christian homes, a church, and shot at Christians in the streets. more >>
Incited by calls from mosque loudspeakers after a dispute between Muslim and Christian youths, a Muslim mob attacked a Christian neighborhood in Gujranwala today, injuring at least five Christians and damaging a church and dozens of shops and vehicles.
Only a few hours after Pakistan's Supreme Court rebuked Punjab Police for only observing arsonists and other assailants in Lahore's Joseph Colony rioting last month, police allowed Muslims to attack Christians of Francis Colony in Gujranwala, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) from Lahore, sources said. Two of the injured Christians were seriously wounded.
A resident of Francis Colony, where 2,000 Christian families have settled in the overwhelmingly Muslim-majority country, said police bias was evident in today's attack. more >>
A Christian ministry worker who encourages and equips believers and the local church inside Pakistan to face persecution, said that the recent rioting against a Christian colony in Lahore, in which 150 homes were burnt, was further evidence of increased Islamization in the country.
"The event did not come as a surprise to the residents of the area called Badami Bagh, in which there is a smaller colony called the Joseph Colony where Christians live," Hana, whose real name was not given for her protection, told The Christian Post earlier this week.
Even though Pakistan's National assembly condemned the action, Hana said it will take more than a proclamation by the government to help curb the problem. more >>
Police in Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore arrested numerous rioters Monday, as Christians hit the street and missionary schools remained closed to protest the burning of more than 150 houses of Christians over alleged blasphemy of the Prophet Muhammad.
The more than 150 suspects were charged under various laws, including the Anti-Terrorism Act, for attempted murder, robbery, arson and terrorism, India's CNN-IBN quoted police officials from Pakistan's Punjab province as saying.
Hundreds of Christian protesters clashed with police on Monday, The Associated Press reported. more >>
Muslim mobs upset over an alleged derogatory comment about the prophet of Islam burned down more than 180 Christian-owned houses and shops and at least two church buildings here on Saturday (March 9) after authorities told police to "let them vent their grief and anger," officials said.
Lahore's impoverished Joseph Colony looked like a war-ravaged town by Saturdaynight. There were no reports of casualties, but the site was reminiscent of the destruction in Gojra in 2009, when eight Christians were burned alive, 100 houses looted and 50 homes set ablaze after a blasphemy accusation.
"The police let our homes burn and be vandalized … a heavy price to pay when you are a Christian in Pakistan," an area resident identified only as Shaukat told Morning Star NewsSaturday night as he walked dingy streets littered with burnt furniture and appliances, smoke billowing from small houses while firemen continued to put out blazes. "The entire locality was left to the mobs just because a Christian happened to get involved in a dispute with a Muslim." more >>
In a rare instance in Pakistan, a judge granted bail to a pastor accused of blaspheming Islam because the complainant admitted that he had mistakenly accused him, attorneys said.
Karma Patras, a 55-year-old pastor of Bado Malhi, Sangla Hill, had been languishing in Sheikhupura District Jail since October after preaching on Christ's sacrifice at a funeral attended manly by Christians. Some Muslims present thought he was speaking against the Islamic animal slaughter ritual observed at the time, and Patras was confused when police showed up at his home later that day (Oct. 13) and arrested him on charges of defaming Islam.
Victims of false accusations of blasphemy in Pakistan usually spend months in jail without trial, and then many more months after conviction; if charges are dismissed, it does not usually happen until cases reach appeal, as most trial judges cannot withstand the pressure of furious Islamic extremists. Retraction of an accusation is also rare in Pakistan. more >>