Our vision is to create a network of Pakistanis united in Christ, focused on better quality of life, fellowship and religious freedom for Christians in Pakistan and the UK.
Many young men protested and rioted over the twin bomb attacks
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After the twin bomb attack on two churches in Lahore (15th March 2015) scores of young Christian men caught in mass hysteria over the deaths and injuries of their friends and family members, took to the streets and rioted. Two police officers who had apprehended believed gunmen, travelled the wrong way and instead of escaping through a side exit delivered the two believed gunmen into the baying crowd. This resulted in the two believed gunmen being beaten to death and then their bodies burnt alive.
In the wake of the death of two 'high value' Muslims, offended reporters from all major Pak-media groups spewed out their disgust at the attack by Christians who had dared touch Muslim men. This resulted in animosity and hatred towards the Pak-Christian community of Youhanabad, despite the mitigating circumstances that the two men had been believed to be a part of the attack on the Christian Churches, and the fact that 21 Christians were now dead and a further 87 were injured.
Proceeding the riots in a serious police crackdown, the likes of which we have never seen before. Over 100 men were arrested, this figure increases closer to 300 in accounts by leaders of the Christian community of Youhanabad.
Of the men arrested 47 men have been charged with rioting and wilful destruction. A further 22 men have been charged under section 302 of the Pakistan penal code, meaning they have been indicted for Murder. They are all awaiting trial date for sentencing.
Our officer Mehwish visited Lahore this week and interviewed some of the men who have been released, they numbered only 30, despite 40 men having been proved innocent. The men released spoke of the awful brutality they faced. In some of the worst cases they described torture such as their finger nails being ripped off, their bodies slammed on walls and they were punched and kicked with extreme force. Their scars are still present over their bodies and, despite their innocence, many of these victims have simply had to flee their homes and escape to another city to live with relatives, fearing further police intimidation and attacks from the wider Muslim community.
Mehwish Bhatti said:
"Meeting these men was extremely distressing, the injuries on the men were horrendous and they were visibly terrorised. I was both alarmed and deeply concerned and cried at the desolate situation that young Christian men were facing. Pakistani Authorities have displayed great bias that highlights our desperate state."
While arrests were taking place Community leaders gave up the names of the rioters to protect other Christians from brutality, however this proved futile. Fathers were arrested and beaten until their sons handed themselves in to save them, and many girls and women were molested before, during and after arrests. Many girls and women were visited several times by police officers offering to get men released for sexual favours. Moreover, families have been advised by Police that they will have to pay a bribe as a form of Jizya tax for the murder of the two Muslim men. It is not yet known if these threats by police are state sanctioned or simply an opportunist action by incredibly corrupt and biased police.
Many of the victims of the Lahore bomb attack still need your help, victims needs operations, medical supplies, help towards living costs due to inability to work and no access to benefits or loss of a main bread- winner. Men involved in the rioting need legal aid support and support for relocation as they have become targets for hate by local police and communities.
Please help us to provide ongoing support to these victims who are now in this dire position through no fault of their own.
If you would like to donate towards supporting Lahore Christians then please use these bank details:
Sort Code: 20-67-90
Account number: 63468976
Ref: Love for Lahore Christians
Alternatively if you would like donate using PayPal please use the PayPal facility on the top right hand corner of our blog, our PayPal email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any cheques should be made payable to the BPCA to our address: 57 Green Lane, Ilford, Essex, IG1 1XG.
With your support we hope to change the lives of millions of Christians in Pakistan.
Mehwish Bhatti meets with victims of Lahore Bomb attack this man has continuous bleeding from his arm.
Mehwish meets doctors at a local Christian hospital to uncover how to help.
Wilson's extended cousin suffered 85% burns but by some miracle has survived. He has been off work since the incident and is visibly shaken