On Aug. 1, a mob of angry Muslim extremists attacked Christians in Gojra district, Punjab province, killing at least eight believers, including a seven-year-old child, according to The Voice of the Martyrs contacts.
Dozens of homes and a church building were looted and burned. Reports indicate the violence resulted from rumors Christians had desecrated pages from the Quran several days earlier at a wedding in a nearby village. This was the second attack because of such a rumor. On July 30, Muslim extremists attacked Christians, burning more than 50 homes and animals in Korian village, Faisalabad.
In both attacks, Muslim leaders encouraged the violence, using mosque loudspeakers to call on the faithful to defend Islam. According to witnesses, the attackers used a fuel that is particularly difficult to extinguish to set the fires.
Government officials have condemned the attacks with unusual severity and have criticized security forces for their slow response. They said there is no truth to the allegations of blasphemy and promised to rebuild the homes destroyed and financially assist those who have lost family members in the violence. Recent reports estimate over 200 had been arrested for their involvement in the violence.
The Voice of the Martyrs is providing assistance to believers affected by these attacks. VOM actively supports persecuted believers in Pakistan by distributing Action Packs, Bibles, and the books Triumphant Church and He Lived Among Us. Pray for the families of deceased believers, those who lost their homes and the pastor and members of the church. Ask God to provide for and encourage them. Pray that false accusations by Muslims will draw believers closer to the Lord and for their faithfulness to draw non believers into faith with Christ.
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