Religions for Peace Europe – in collaboration with the World Council of Churches – for solidarity to the Christian Communities and commitment to Interreligious Peace in Pakistan.
Solidarity to the Christian Communities and commitment to Interreligious Peace in Pakistan
As a representative body for all religions in Europe we strongly condemn the violent attacks perpetrated by Islamic extremists against Churches and Christians in Jaranwala district in the Punjab, province of Faisalabad, in these last days: six churches have been burnt and a cemetery has been vandalized after two Christians were accused of blasphemy.
These terrorist actions are indeed expression of unacceptable inter-religious hate and violence.
The World Council of Churches affirmed to be shocked by the reports of these violent actions which demonstrate the gap between the aspiration to an harmonious society and the current reality. Since long time the WCC has expressed concerns regarding the impact of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws on Christians and members of other religious communities.
The respect of human dignity expressed in its fruitful differences and the recognition of equal rights is due to all, as citizens of the country regardless of their religious affiliation.
The World Council of Churches has called on the Pakistani authorities “to act urgently and consistently to prevent further such violent attacks and violations of the human rights of Christians in Punjab province or elsewhere in Pakistan”.
We take note with relief and appreciate that more than 100 arrests have been performed in the aftermaths of the attacks, as said by a government spokesman. Moreover, the Pakistani authorities said that the police are looking for the Christian family targeted by the attacks because they were accused of blasphemy against the Koran by a group of fanatics.
As Religions for Peace Europe we join to the World Council of Churches and according to their invitation to “member churches and ecumenical and inter-religious partners around the world” we raise our voices against this violence and oppression, with its background of contempt and hate, and in prayer for equal human rights, justice and peace in Pakistan.
President of Religions for Peace Europe Dr Luigi De Salvia