In a letter to Pakistani churches, the World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit has condemned the attacks on Christians in Badami Bagh, Lahore, on Saturday, 10 March. More than a hundred houses were burned down following allegations of blasphemy.
“We share the pain of hundreds of innocent families who have become victims of atrocious acts, and we deplore such actions. We view this targeting of Christians within the context of Pakistan’s harsh blasphemy laws, frequently used to persecute religious minorities or settle personal disputes,” said Tveit.
He implied that these incidents were part of the series of attacks against Pakistan's Christian minority, who has often been victimized by the blasphemy laws.
Tveit said that “Pakistan’s federal and provincial authorities should take a firm decision to undertake actions that introduce effective law enforcement mechanisms to protect all religious minorities.”
He assured the churches of “continuous prayers and solidarity with the Christians of the Badami Bagh community in Lahore” and recalled his visit to Lahore one year ago.
WCC calls for Pakistani government commission to probe abuse of blasphemy law (WCC news release of 19 September 2012)
The World Council of Churches promotes Christian unity in faith, witness and service for a just and peaceful world. An ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948, today the WCC brings together 349 Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other churches representing more than 560 million Christians in over 110 countries, and works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church. The WCC general secretary is Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, from the [Lutheran] Church of Norway.
Mediacontact: +41 79 507 6363;
Visiting address: 150 route de Ferney, 1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland