Catholic Church seeks strong action against destroyers of churches, homes

By Our Correspondent  August 18, 2023

The Catholic Church has condemned the burning and destruction of churches and homes of the Christian Community in Jaranwala and wondered with great shock and disbelief how such an incident could happen just two days after the country celebrated Independence Day.

A statement issued by Archbishop of Karachi Benny Travas on Thursday said that in August 2023, when we were reminded that Pakistan belongs to all Pakistanis, we have once again been confronted with open hatred and uncontrollable rage shown towards the Christian community in the atrocities that have taken place at Jaranwala, Faisalabad.

It is further stated that an alleged incident of the “desecration of the Holy Quran”, which has yet to be investigated, led to an act of violence against the entire Christian community residing at Jaranwala where churches and houses were targeted, destroyed and burnt down without any fear and the Holy Bible and the places of worship of the Christian community were desecrated.

The church stated that once again, we have the same old condemnations and visits by the politicians and other government officials expressing their solidarity with the Christian community and promises that “justice will be done”, but in reality, nothing materializes, and all is forgotten. The statement reads that “as archbishop of Karachi and head of the Catholic Christian community residing in Karachi, I just cannot comprehend how my people would show disrespect to any religion or to any religious books. We, as a Christian community, have time and again displayed our fidelity to the nation of Pakistan yet incidents like the burning of Christian homes in Gojra, Shantinagar, Joseph Colony, and now Jaranwala show that we are in reality second-class citizens, that can be terrorized and frightened at will”.

The statement said: “We therefore call upon the Government and its administration to show solidarity with the Christian community in this hour of grief by taking strong action against all those who were involved in taking the law into their own hands and destroying and desecrating churches, the holy books, and the homes of the Christian community. We also call for a high-level investigation of the alleged desecration of the Holy Quran as past incidents have shown that there have been other motives behind such allegations.”