We are in solidarity with the churches and communities in Pakistan; particularly, we are thinking of the persecuted and affected communities in Sargodha,” said Pillay. We are also praying for the families of those who have lost loved ones and those who have been hurt and wounded in this new wave of violence.”

The mob violence was provoked and unleashed due to unsubstantiated rumours that the individual had desecrated the Holy Quran. “Families have fled in terror, seeking refuge from the chaos,” said Pillay. We appeal to all communities and authorities in Sargodha, the provincial government in Punjab, and the other regions of Pakistan to prevent further escalation of violence; ensure the protection of the lives, livelihoods, and properties of the affected communities; and apprehend the perpetrators.”

Pillay reflected that the targeting of Christians occurs within the context of Pakistans harsh blasphemy laws, frequently used to persecute religious minorities or settle personal disputes. 

"Social persecution, discrimination, and violence against religious minorities have become particularly widespread in Punjab province,” he said. These acts of violence and persecution of innocent people from minority communities, including Christians, deserve to be condemned and prevented by all peace-loving people in the country.”

Read the full message of the WCC general secretary