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An image purporting to show an attack on a Christian-owned structure in Pakistan on Saturday, May 25 (

An attack on Christians in north-central Pakistan by an enraged Muslim mob, who accused a Christian man of having defaced the Koran, represents a “dark day” for the country’s Christian community, Pakistan’s top Catholic official has said. Source: Crux.

“I strongly condemn this incident. It’s a dark day for the Church in Pakistan,” Bishop Samson Shukardin of Hyderabad, president of the Pakistan Catholic Bishops Conference, told Crux in the aftermath of the attack on Saturday.

“Without knowing or investigating [the accusation regarding the Koran], the mob attacked a 74-year-old Christian man,” Bishop Shukardin said. “Christians are very disappointed and afraid.”

Although many observers have long complained that such violent episodes are encouraged by Pakistan’s controversial anti-blasphemy laws, Bishop Shukardin said the Church is not calling for those laws to be repealed but rather for good judgement in how they’re applied.

“Many Muslims have condemned this incident, there are many good Muslims, but the majority attack on mere allegations,” he said. “Many of the complaints are based on made-up evidence, and the real causes are personal vendetta or gains.”

Bishop Shukardin also credited local police for intervening and preventing fatalities.

According to local observers, hundreds of Muslims took part in the mob violence in Sargodha, Pakistan, located in the Punjab province, on Saturday. The incident began with an accusation that a Christian had defaced the Muslim holy book, which led to an assault in which his shoemaking factory was burned to the ground.

Sargodha police chief Sariq Khan was quoted by local media as saying that officers had rescued at least five people from the violence, and that stones and bricks had been hurled at police during the melee.

A police spokesman said the violence is now under control and that officers are investigating the allegation regarding the Koran, which would be a crime under Pakistan’s controversial anti-blasphemy laws.

According to local sources, at least one Christian man was seriously injured during the violence and is currently hospitalised. Overall, roughly 25 arrests were made.


Pakistan bishop calls anti-Christian mob violence a ‘dark day’ (By Nirmala Carvalho, Crux)