Christians in Pakistan were once again the target of Muslim mobs looting, burning down their houses and killing. This time it was a village called Korian Chak No 362 JB, very close to the small city of sub Division Gojra, District, Toba Tek Singh, Pakistan. On 26 th July 2009 there was a Christian wedding in the village. Some children cut up pages of an old book to use as sort of ticker tape to shower on the wedding party. They had unknowingly cut up pages from an old school book of Islamic Studies.
The next day when some Muslims found pieces of paper with Arabic script and some Quranic verses scattered about, there was uproar in the village. However, the matter was settled amicably when it became clear that this had been done by children who were illiterate and there was no intention of desecrating any holy texts.
Life in Korian returned to normal and the matter was almost forgotten. However, Muslim hardliners were at work. The rumour was being spread that the Christians of Korian had desecrated the Holy Qur'an by tearing out pages and scattering them on the roadside to be trampled underfoot.
Around sunset on 30 th July a large mob descended on Korian demanding that Taalib Masih (the father of the children) be hanged for blasphemy. Fortunately the Christians had been forewarned and had already fled their homes to safer places.
The mob then began its spree of looting and burning the 70 to 80 Christian houses in the village. The two small churches, one Protestant and the other Pentecostal, were ransacked but not burned down. Sharief Masih a disabled who was not able to run away died a day before yesterday as he was in a trauma.
|Detail of Korian :
Total Christian families: 138
Homes burnt: 78
Muslims' homes affected in the neighbourhood: 2
Men: 88 Women: 98 Kids : 136
Total 63 children are studying in the schools in the Korian .
Area : 126 Kanal
Donkey Carts: 13
auto Rikshaws and Motorbikes: 11
Buffalos, cows & goats: 70
Established Since: 19 Years
But malicious rumours continued to be circulated that Christians had desecrated the Holy Book. It did not matter where this had happened or who had done it or whether it was true. Christians in many surrounding villages and towns began receiving threats as Mullahs ( Muslim clerics ) began preaching hatred and revenge. On 1 st August a large mob moved towards a Christian locality called Christian Town in the centre of Gojra city near railway station.
They carried sticks, clubs and even firearms. The small police force's half-hearted attempt to stop them was ineffective. The Christians tried to resist the mob. The mob besieged the locality and went on a rampage, looting and burning about 100 Christian houses. Police reinforcements arrived by late afternoon, but it was too late - the damage had been done. Till evening bodies were being recovered from the smoking ruins of the houses. The number of injured is not known, but 8 Christians were killed, two of them children. (Seven burnt down while eight one died on August 04, 2009 as he was in a traumatic situation. People are living in great harrasment in the near by villages and towns and most of the people flee from their homes as everywhere Muslims start threatning to Christians and start looting their homes and captured their homes and livestocks.
|Detail of Gojra:
Total affected Christian Families are: 135
People died: 8
Area: 90 Kanal
Established Since: 1905
Professions: Sanitary Workers and Labours
Donkey Carts: 2
Auto Richshaws and Motorbikes = 22
School going children: 247
To learn more about Persecution in Pakistan and Blasphemy Laws please click on the following links...