Protestors have taken to the streets of Manchester, UK, to rally support against Pakistani Christians persecution in Pakistan as thousands of Christians flee their homes after allegations of blasphemy led to widespread attack on Christians in Jaranwala. Churches have been razed to the ground, and many Christians say they cannot return to their homes.
It comes after two Christian brothers were accused of desecrating the Qur’an. Their names, addresses, and identity numbers were found inside the destroyed holy book.Two men have been arrested under Pakistan’s infamously strict blasphemy laws. The punishment for insulting Islam can be death, but many don’t reach sentencing before being lynched by mobs.
To protest government inaction, 150 people, predominantly Pakistani Christians – took to the streets of Manchester on Sunday, 20th August, calling for an end to the persecution of Christians.Attendees appeared outside the Manchester Consulate General of Pakistan. They each signed a petition, addressed to the Consular General, Muhammad Tariq Wazir.
Church leaders across the globe continue to call for government support for Christians in Pakistan and put an end to the blasphemy laws.
Bishop Azad Marshall has returned from Jaranwala in recent days. Speaking to newsmen, he said: “The situation is very bad. We met women, children, and men who were absolutely lost. Women crying, children without food after losing their homes, women without clothes, the same clothes they’d been wearing when they were driven out of their homes…”
According to reports, Christians who lost their homes in the riot are now being offered 2 million rupees in compensation for the violence they experienced, in an initiative from the Pakistani government. Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-HaqKakar says those behind the attacks are “enemies of humanity” and will be punished for their actions.