Hundreds of Christians have been left homeless in Pakistan after a mob of nearly 3000 Muslims, in the Badami Bagh area of Lahore, torched their houses and shops and a church.
According to reports from Barnabas Fund, the riots broke out over a false blasphemy accusation against a Christian man.
It is claimed that two friends, a Christian and Muslim, had engaged in a drunken argument and the next day the Muslim reported him to his local imam under accusations of blasphemy.
It is claimed that the Christian, named as Savan Masih by Barnabas Fund, made ‘derogatory remarks against Mohammed’ and the imam called on worshippers to attack the Christians.
The mob attacked Mr Masih’s home and also broke into the properties of other professed Christian families, looting their goods before setting the houses on fire.
A total of 178 houses and 75 shops were destroyed, leaving hundreds of Christians homeless and with nothing. Bibles were also burned.
Dr Patrick Sookhdeo said, ‘Once again, an entire Christian community in Pakistan has been ravaged and destroyed by Islamic extremists over an unsubstantiated blasphemy allegation.
‘It is welcome news that these helpless Christian families will receive state compensation, but they are likely to need further support from their brothers and sisters elsewhere. Barnabas Fund will be standing with them in the weeks and months ahead as they try to rebuild their shattered lives’.