Statement on violence in Pakistan from Global Ministries partner, the National Council of Churches in Pakistan (NCCP)
The Gojra Tragedy is another shameful incidence of religious intolerance and violence against minorities in Pakistan. This is not the first time that the fanatics/ extremist amongst the majority community have committed serious acts of aggression and murder against the minority groups for no fault of theirs.
The brutal attack on Christians in a village called Korian near Gojra town on 31st July 2009 where more than 50 houses were burnt and the people were terrorized on the pretext of desecrating the Holy Quran which in fact never took place.
After two days the Christians living in Gojra town were attacked and seven members of a family were burnt alive, two shot dead and their houses were burnt completely.
An emergent meeting of all Church leaders and primary members of the community was called on 3rd August 2009 at NCCP – Ecumenical Center and unanimously condemned the incident of Korian and Gojra.
It was further resolved that the NCCP along with the Catholic Bishop Conference and representatives of the community at large urge the Government and Parliament from the day that the Blasphemy Law was enacted, hundreds of Christians were subjected to prison and torture of no fault of theirs.
It was also resolved that the leaders of the community with the support of the community at large demand the government to repeal the 295 B & C and save the community from religious fanatics and terrorists. For decades these acts of extremism and intolerance have taken place in Shanti Nagar, Sangla Hill, Bahawalpur, Taxila, Murree, Bamian Wala, Kasur and now Gojra and many other places.
It was decided that a protest and prayer meeting be held of all the churches on 11th August, 2009 at Naulakha Church, Lahore in remembrance of the martyrs of Gojra as an expression of solidarity with the Gojra victims. We are grateful to the media and the civil society and the human rights activist for their support at this sad moment. We also appreciate the response of the Government to the situation.
We hereby send day to day report of the sad incident.