Elderly Christian injured in lynch mob violence in Pakistan

31 May 2024

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Please pray for God’s healing for a Christian man in his 70s who was beaten and stoned by a lynch mob of Muslim extremists in Punjab province, Pakistan on 25 May following unsubstantiated allegations of desecration of the Quran.

Violence broke out in Sargodha city after rumours circulated that burned pages had been found close to the homes of the minority Christian community in the city’s Mujahid Colony.

An enraged crowd of Islamists gathered outside the believers’ homes and, when the elderly Christian man came out, they beat him and hurled stones at him, before setting his shoe shop on fire.

Flames engulf the shoe shop belonging to the Christian man injured in the violence [Image credit: X video]

Police used a water cannon to disperse the mob and rescue the injured Christian and other family members.

A nephew of the injured man later said his uncle was in a stable condition in hospital.

Police are reported to have arrested more than 100 suspects for mob violence and attempting to lynch the Christian victim.

Sargodha police said in a statement that ten of its officers and personnel were injured by stones thrown by the mob.

Investigation ordered into anti-Christian violence

“The Sargodha police risked their lives to rescue the families and pulled them out from the crowd,” added the statement. “Thanks to the timely action of the police, Sargodha was spared a great tragedy.”

Punjab’s Home Secretary Noorul Amin Mengal has ordered an investigation into the violence. “Pakistan belongs to all of us; no injustice will be tolerated under the guise of religion,” he said. “Action will be taken according to the law after a complete investigation.”

The violence in Sargodha comes less than a year after churches and the homes of more than 100 believers were attacked by armed mobs of Muslim extremists in Jaranwala, Punjab following unfounded allegations of desecration of the Quran, which were proven to be malicious.

Pakistan’s Supreme Court later criticised the Jaranwala police for failing to stop the attackers and acting like silent spectators to the violence that took place in August 2023.

Pray that our Christian brother will make a full physical, emotional and spiritual recovery and that his family will be restored following the trauma they endured. Give thanks for the intervention of the police and pray that the investigation will be thorough and help prevent any further outbreak of anti-Christian violence in Punjab.

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