Aid to the Church in Need will provide emergency support to the victims of anti-Christian riots that took place in Jaranwala, in the Pakistani district of Punjab.
According to the local diocese of Faisalabad, the riots were sparked on August 16 by a false accusation of blasphemy, when rumours began to spread that a man and his son had disrespected the Quran by placing their photographs on its pages. Mobs then proceeded to attack Christians, their homes and places of worship. Local authorities did nothing to stem the violence and the attackers blocked the roads into Jaranwala to prevent any outside assistance from reaching the victims.
Hundreds of Christian families fled the violence and lost their possessions and livelihoods, being forced to stay with relatives or even out in the surrounding fields.
Faisalabad Diocese has identified 464 families that are in desperate need and has devised a plan to provide them first with immediate assistance, and then with the goods and help necessary to rebuild their lives.
The items required for the families include basic necessities such as clothes, kitchen appliances, bedding and mattresses, stationery for school children and even rickshaws and motorcycles for drivers and delivery boys whose vehicles were destroyed in the attacks.
Bishop Indrias Rehmat of Faisalabad said: “The lives of these people are in grave danger, as they struggle to survive amidst immense hardship.”
He added: “We look forward to collaborating with ACN to alleviate the suffering of these unfortunate victims, and we extend our heartfelt gratitude for your attention and cooperation in this matter to the benefactors.”
To help the Church in Pakistan visit www.aidtochurch.org/pakistanappeal