LAHORE PAKISTAN: More than 100 houses belonging to the Christian community were vandalized and burnt by a mob of muslims in Badami Bagh area of Lahore on Saturday over alleged blasphemy committed by a Christian man. More than 35 Christians were injured.
Several houses were attacked and hundreds Christian families were forced to flee the area. There was advance notice of this attack within the government of Pakistan and that no action was taken to stop it.
Fr. John Tanveer spent a full day today (Tuesday) in this neighborhood, and says it is just absolutely devastated. Eyewitnesses there say that the incident was actually much worse than reported in the media. The whole incident seemed very well planned, and he says there were over 5,000 in the mob. They used some sort of chemical (perhaps gasoline?) to start the fires.
The residents say that police were in the area but did nothing to intervene. He counted about 350 houses destroyed, far more than the official count of 178. So far the government has not provided any relief for these families.
The community is a poor one, near a lot of factories and industry. The residents are primarily Christian, both Protestants and Catholics. Fr. John is distressed because there has not yet been any response from any Christain NGO’s.
From Fr. John Tanveer
Dear Supporter of the Orthodox Church in Pakistan,
Since this morning I was with the victims. I tried to visit each and every house. They are attacked by 5 to 6 thousand peoples mob with weapons and a dangerous chemical which they thew into their houses,which burnt each and everything. There is left nothing.
So much cruelty is seen that they felt no pity for a dog and a parrot in his cage. They had no pity for a faithful dog and a beautiful parrot. I am really finished after visiting the people ant their properties.
Muslims always come together to support one another worldwide but we Christians enjoy and think of ourself as selfish people. They are one but we are all divided and broken into many different parts.
O Lord my God, please, give us courage so that we may come together without prejudice and hatred.
Why are we accused? The answer is that we are Christians among the majority of Muslims.
Please, remember our country in your prayers especially the victims who lost all because of being Christians.
Pictures from Fr. John
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