Loading
Muslim mother frames daughter’s Christian boyfriend for blasphemy, violence ensues
Fr. Andrew Nisari
Fr. Andrew Nisari

.- A Friday outbreak of anti-Christian violence in Pakistan, which included the burning of a church, was reportedly sparked by a Muslim woman who was furious that her daughter had become romantically linked with a Christian man. The mother allegedly tore pages from a Koran and framed the young man for the deed.

Hundreds of Christians in Jethki village in the Sialkot district of Punjab Province fled for their lives as extremists went on rampage.

The extremists were armed with bricks, stones and sticks. They sprinkled kerosene on the church before setting it on fire and desecrating it, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) reports.

The mob set fire to two Christian homes next to the church and threatened to kill the village’s inhabitants.

Church leaders claim the violence was sparked by a Muslim mother who was determined to break off the three-year-old relationship between her 18-year-old daughter and a 19-year-old Christian man. Clergy allege that she ripped a page containing verses of the Koran out of a book and was seen throwing it in front of the man’s house.

She then allegedly ran to the local Muslim authorities and accused the man of desecrating the Koran, in violation of Pakistan’s strict Blasphemy Laws.

The laws carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

According to ACN, Muslim authorities apparently orchestrated the violence as an act of revenge. The man accused of desecrating the Koran is now detained in prison while police investigate. He was not named for security reasons.

Father Andrew Nisari, vicar general of the Archdiocese of Lahore in which Sialkot is located, told ACN that people are “very frightened and upset” by the attack.

“Although the church is still standing, it is completely burnt inside – the altar, the statues, the pews, the priest’s chair, Bibles and other religious books. The whole church is now totally unusable,” Fr. Nisari reported.

All the priests of the village told the Christians to run from the village or they would be killed, he reported. The displaced Christians have taken refuge with friends and relatives in nearby towns.

“We are actually glad that the 19-year-old boy is in jail at the moment – at least there he will be safe. It means he won’t be killed by the fanatic Muslims,” Fr. Nisari added.

The priest characterized the Blasphemy Laws as an “invisible sword” used to take revenge.

“This case shows that religion is being misused in our country and that it is very necessary that the Blasphemy Laws be repealed.”

The anti-Christian incident is the fourth within three months. Last month, nine Christians were killed in anti-Christian attacks in Gojra city in Punjab province.

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday condemned the attacks and pledged government funds to repair the church. Shahbaz Mhatti, the Pakistan minorities’ minister and the only Christian in the federal cabinet, will visit the region and submit a report to the government.

The Friday violence has prompted more calls from Christian leaders and others in Pakistan for the repeal of the Blasphemy Laws. ACN has also endorsed the laws’ repeal.

“I urge all the Christians in the world to pray for us who are persecuted in Pakistan. We need your prayers right now,” Fr. Nisari appealed.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
24

Liturgical Calendar

April 24, 2014

Thursday within the Octave of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:35-48

Gospel
Date
04/24/14
04/23/14
04/22/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 3:11-26
Gospel:: Lk 24:35-48

Saint of the Day

Easter Sunday »

Saint
Date
04/24/14
04/22/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 24:35-48

Homily
Date
04/24/14
04/23/14
04/22/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: