On Saturday March 9, mobs destroyed many homes and shops in a Christian colony in Lahore Pakistan. According to police, the incident stemmed from an argument on Wednesday evening between two friends: Sawan Masih, a Christian sanitation worker, and Shahid Imran, a Muslim barber. On Thursday Mr Imran accused Mr Masih, of blasphemy, sending waves of tension through the Christian community. Mosques publicized the report of blasphemy over loudspeakers which provoked the violence and attack of the mob.
People began to leave their homes Thursday evening, and on Friday the police filed charges against Mr Masih. On Saturday morning, several thousand people from nearby factories set out to destroy the Christian colony. Police reported some people in the mob were armed with weapons, including firearms. The New York Times reports Multan Khan, a police spokesman saying “They vandalised Christians’ houses, desecrated Churches and opened fire on the police”. The local police force claims they sustained several injuries attempting to intervene. According to the New York Times, Jani Masih stated “Even a single household has not been spared”. This destruction of another Christian colony is an alarming indicator of the state of religious intolerance in Pakistan.
As the nation of Pakistan slides into dark days politically, economically, socially and religiously, it needs the prayers of God’s people. The forces of darkness that are behind this are not those of flesh and blood, but principalities and powers that oppose the Kingdom of God, of light and truth. As we pray for the Christians in Pakistan, let’s also pray for this nation and the desperate need for God’s mercy and grace.