ISLAMABAD: German Embassy officials on Friday visited Jaranwala to express support for the Christian community, according to an official statement issued by the mission.
Head of Communications and Cultural Affairs Dorota Berezicki and Human Rights Counsellor Julia Klein met affected families during the visit and took stock of the aftermath of the gruesome mob violence which had resulted in the destruction of places of worship and residences belonging to the Christian community in Jaranwala.
During this visit, Bishop Indiras Rehmat, local church officials and representatives from the Caritas Office in Faisalabad briefed the delegation about the ground-level situation and the challenges faced by the community as they rebuild their lives.
To provide immediate assistance to the afflicted families, the embassy distributed emergency aid packages donated by the local and German staff. The donations include essential food items, bedding, clothing, and sanitary supplies.
“Germany upholds its steadfast commitment to the principles of peace, tolerance, and interfaith harmony. It is a solemn belief that no family should ever experience insecurity within their homes due to their faith,” the communique added.
On August 16, a mob vandalised several churches and set scores of houses on fire after accusing the Christian community of its members over alleged blasphemy.
The incident took place in Jaranwala town of the industrial district of Faisalabad, police spokesman Naveed Ahmad said. A mob had attacked the community after two Christians were accused of blasphemy, he said.
A Christian leader, Akmal Bhatti, said the crowd had torched at least five churches and looted valuables from houses that had been abandoned by their owners after clerics made announcements in mosques inciting the mob.
Several social media posts showed some churches on fire as well as houses and belongings.
More than 100 people have been arrested for their involvement in riots over alleged blasphemy in Faisalabad’s Jaranwala during which members of the Christian community were targeted, the Punjab interim government’s spokesperson confirmed.
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