Pastoral letter to Churches in Pakistan
#cca #christianasia #pakistan #pakistanchristians
The news of torching homes and targeting the Christian Community in Joseph Colony, Badami Bagh, Lahore has come to us as a great shock. While atrocities on religious and ethnic ‘minorities’ are becoming common nowadays, we as churches and people who struggle to spread the message of peace, are seriously challenged to find ways of loving our neighbour as well as maintaining harmony and unity within the diversities of our communities. We are also challenged to express our solidarity with the victims who suffer, and to raise our unified voice for justice and peace.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Greetings of Peace,
We are shocked to hear about the torching of more than a hundred homes in a Christian enclave of the Pakistani city of Lahore. We deeply share the pain and agony of the families affected by this tragic incident and the fears caused to many people especially the ‘minority’ communities. May God comfort the families who have lost their homes, especially the Christians who suffered because of the faith that they stand for and hold dearly in their hearts. We pray that the spirit of God will continue to strengthen the churches in Pakistan in witnessing the love of Christ which is beyond human understanding and which reaches out beyond humanly-created walls and borders.
We join Christian communities, leaders and human rights activists around the world in voicing our strong concern against the continuing abuse and exploitation of the Blasphemy Law to oppress any religious minority. We believe that the situation is more alarming when people take law into their own hands and make it difficult for vulnerable communities to live a normal life in their own countries.
We the churches of Asia will continue to uphold you in our prayers. We affirm that building communities of love, justice and peace is the hallmark of Christianity and this will always be the foundation on which our church stands. We pray for forgiveness and understanding in a situation where the emotions of people are fanned by religious sentiments. Let us reach out in peace and strengthen common religious concerns for justice and peace for all, rather than emphasize differences that divide and fragment the world.
Kindly let us know if we can assist you in any way in this alarming situation.
Henriette Hutabarat Lebang
Christian Conference of Asia