A door to a Christian’s home in Pakistan demolished by a Muslim mob in this photograph from the Barnabas Aid
Muslims apparently angered because a Christian man driving a tractor reportedly tried to pass a Muslim on a motorcycle have rampaged in one village in Pakistan, destroying Christians’ homes and throwing acid on women and children as they fled, according to a new report from Barnabas Aid.
The ministry reported that the violence this week happened in the village of Bahmani Walla in Punjab state in Pakistan, which is dominated by Islamic influences.
The report said 600 Muslims used gasoline bombs to vandalize 117 homes belonging to Christians – including 48 damaged by fire, and sabotage water pumps and cut electricity.
According to the report, the violence apparently stemmed from an incident one night earlier, “in which a Christian man driving a tractor requested that a Muslim man riding a motorcycle allow him to pass.”
“The request was refused and a disagreement ensued,” said the Christian ministry that directs financial support to projects that help Christians “where they suffer discrimination, oppression and persecution as a consequence of their faith.”
Following the confrontation, news was spread among Muslims that there had been blasphemy against Islam, and it took only a few hours for a 600-strong mob of Muslims to assemble and begin the attack.
Cars and trucks owned by Christians were burned or stolen, jewelry and cash were taken and the next morning found Christian business owners facing a boycott.
Wreckage of a Christian’s home damaged by a Muslim mob in this photograph from the Barnabas Aid
“The most disturbing development was the throwing of acid at the Christians as they fled. At least nine women and four children have been injured,” the Christian ministry reported.
While blasphemy carries a death penalty in Pakistan, there is no punishment available for making a false accusation that someone was guilty of the crime, the ministry said.
“Please pray for our Christian brothers and sisters in Bahmani Walla, who have suffered in this shocking attack, pray that the authorities will investigate thoroughly and bring to justice the perpetrators,” said Patrick Sookhdeo, the international director for Barnabas Aid.
The organization also is accepting contributions to help some of the Christians deal with the needs of housing and food while their homes are restored and their lives re-assembled.