Violence against Christians breaks out in Pakistan and Sudan

UPDATED with additional reporting on the situation in Pakistan

Troubling news from overseas reached us at the Lead this weekend. According to John Chapin writing in Spero News, violence against Christians in Pakistan has resulted in the deaths of a number of people, the burning of an Anglican church and numerous homes.

“Urged on by calls from their mullahs, Muslim mobs burned down more than 50 homes of the Christian community in a village of the province of Punjab. A house of worship of the Anglican-affiliated Church of Pakistan, as well as another belonging to the New Apostolic Church, were both put to the torch in the evening hours of July 30 following a reaction to a supposed desecration of the Koran. Around 1000 Muslim believers, bearing firearms and explosives, also attacked numerous Christian homes and burned them. The village of Kolyat, where the first attacks occured, is home to some 100 Christian families who had been living there for several decades. As the attacks widened, Christian men, women and children fled the onslaught and hid themselves in nearby fields. On the following day, in another village, Muslim incendiaries burned six Christians to death in their homes; among them was a 7-year-old child.

According to eyewitnesses, the attackers burned everything belonging to the Christians, including clothes, food, utensils, beds, school books and Bibles in the houses. Even their animals were consumed by the blaze. There are reports that in some cases marauders stole some of Christians’ livestock as well. “

Read the full article here.

There’s more on the story here carried by ENS and a video report posted at FaithWorld here carrying information from Reuters.

There’s also concerning news from Sudan:

From the BBC:

Members of the Lou Nuer community had gone fishing south of Akobo town amid a severe food shortage when ethnic Murle fighters reportedly attacked them.

Eleven soldiers from the South Sudan army, the SPLA, who were protecting the Lou Nuer, were among those killed.

[…]Most of the victims of the latest attack, which took place in the early hours of Sunday morning, were from the Lou Nuer.

Their camp is some 25 miles (40km) south-west of Akobo town, in Jonglei state.

This is a region that has seen repeated sectarian violence as the ongoing conflict over oil in the southern region has been driving existing religious tensions. There is news that Anglicans and Catholics in the region have been involved in some peace negotiations in the past, but no report yet about how the churches are faring in the present outbreak of violence.

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