Christian victims of Jaranwala riots praise God for second delivery of aid

15 April 2024

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“We have no words to give thanks to our loving God and caring Barnabas Aid that delivered us winter supplies that were desperately needed.”

These were the words of Farooq, a Christian in Jaranwala, Pakistan, as the second phase of aid funded by Barnabas was distributed to families who lost their homes and possessions in the anti-Christian riots of August 2023.

We provided food and warm bedding to 172 families (around 1,032 individuals) worst affected by the devastation to help them through the cold winter months. In Phase 1, distributed two weeks after the riots, we provided food, hygiene kits and household goods to the same families.

Christian families from Jaranwala receive Barnabas-funded food and warm bedding in Phase 2 of the distribution

At least 24 churches and several dozen smaller chapels were set on fire, and the homes of more than 100 believers were burned, looted or vandalised by a Muslim mob who rampaged through the Christian area of Jaranwala following false allegations that two Christian brothers had torn pages of the Quran.

Sunday school teacher Mrs Shazia is grateful to God that her ruined home was rebuilt under a compensation scheme funded by the Pakistan government. However, the funding did not cover the replacement of lost possessions, including the books and materials she used to teach Sunday school.

“We lack furniture and fixtures,” she said. “But we thank Barnabas for distributing desperately needed quality winter supplies and food items in this chilling winter.”

She added, “Our faith in Christ has been strengthened, hope in his caring Church, and relationship with loving people of God, restored through this disaster.”

Mrs Shazia, centre, with members of her family

Martha, who in the aftermath of the violence described to Barnabas how she feared believers would be killed “like animals” by rioters, subsequently lost her job running a canteen at a Muslim school because of her faith.

Since then, she has been reliant on her late father’s small pension and the goodwill of other Christians to meet her needs and those of her unemployed brother, with whom she lives.

“We had only two days’ food left in our house and were earnestly praying for a miracle,” she said.

“All praises to our loving God who sent Barnabas Aid with desperately required winter supplies and food items.”

Give thanks for the enduring faith of Christians in Jaranwala who have stood strong in the Lord in the face of terrible persecution. Pray that they will be a lamp to guide others to the Prince of Peace.

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