Interfaith Commission, Hyderabad protests over Jaranwala incident
Hyderabad (Fr. Jamil Albert OFM): On August 18, 2023, a protest demonstration was organized by the Commission for interfaith Dialogue, Hyderabad Diocese against the brutal attack on Christians community in Jaranwala outside Hyderabad Press Club. Earlier, the leaders of the Commission were addressed a condemnation press conference over the same incident.
While speaking, they strongly condemn the inhuman behavior by the attackers. Resultantly, Christians were forced to hide in fields and other places.
At the same time Christian leaders thanked those Muslims brothers and sisters, Hindu community, Sikh community who are standing with us and openly condemning this brutality’s.
On August 17, 2023, a press release was issued by the Franciscan Commission for Interfaith & Interreligious Dialogue, Pakistan and Christian Community of St. Elizabeth Parish, Latifabad, Hyderabad in which the Commission condemns the attacks on Christian Community in Jaranwala, Faisalabad; the desecration of churches, Holy Bibles, Crosses, Christian Cemeteries and houses of poor Christians by raged mobs due to an uninvestigated and unproven accusation of desecration of the Holy Quran.
Complete text of the press release
We have just celebrated Independence Day very passionately, praying for the progress, sustainability and long life of our most beloved country Pakistan where we all believe to be one nation. Our prayers were not as second-class citizens but our loyalty, and contribution for Pakistan is sincere in the past, present and will always be because progress & protection of our beloved country means everything to us.
Here we would also recall an incident of the desecration of the Holy Quran in Sweden which we strongly condemned, we showed our solidarity with our Muslim brothers & sisters, we held press conferences, we made a strong appeal to the leaders of the World to make policies which ensure the safe & peaceful coexistence of people of all faiths. We, as Pakistani Christians, cannot even imagen to disrespect any holy book, place or religious sentiments of other faiths.
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Here we are sadly confronting another incident which has hurt us very deeply, we are in a constant state of trauma. Our people in general in entire country and in particular Jaranwala are living in constant fear, uncertainty and in state of shock. People have left their homes to find safety even it was found on the roads and in the fields. Their houses have not only been attacked but they are destroyed and looted. Our churches have been desecrated, vandalized and burnt down; Holy Bibles & other holy books have been desecrated & burnt. Crosses have been disrespected and broken into pieces. Its so agonizing that even Christian Cemeteries were not spared from this barbarian & brutal moves.
In this very painful scenario, we call upon the Federal & Provincial governments, and all law enforcement agencies and Supreme Court of Pakistan to make it a test case to prove to the Christian Community and all other religious minorities that they are equal citizens of Pakistan, and they are free to practice their religion, their lives. houses. places of worship and other fundamental rights are protected by the State. We firmly believe that the Constitution of Pakistan safeguards these rights of all citizens regardless of their religion. caste and race. We call upon the government to start high level investigation of the alleged desecration of Holy Quran as well as of all the attacks on Christian Community to bring the instigators and executors to justice to harmonize with the terrified Christian Community.
Fr. Jamil Albert OFM
Franciscan Commission for Interfaith & Interreligious Dialogue, Pakistan.
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