In the aftermath of a controversial incident in Sweden where pages of the Holy Quran were burnt, church leaders in Pakistan have appealed to the government for heightened protection for their churches and Christian settlements. The call for increased security comes in response to threats from the banned extremist group, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, which has vowed to retaliate against Pakistani Christians.
Despite the clear condemnation by Pakistani church leaders of the desecration of the Holy Quran in Sweden, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has issued threats of violent retribution. In light of this situation, the church leadership has urged authorities to remain on high alert and provide protection to the Christian community.
The threats have sparked fear among the Christian population, leading to the implementation of additional security measures at churches and religious institutions across the country. Church officials have emphasised their dedication to peaceful coexistence and mutual respect among different faiths, decrying any form of religious desecration.
The incident that sparked the threats involved an Iraqi-born refugee in Sweden who was given permission by the Swedish government to burn pages of the Quran. The move, defended under the guise of free-speech laws, ignited outrage among Muslim communities worldwide and led to protests in cities like Karachi, where demonstrators urged the Foreign Office to summon the Swedish ambassador in protest.
The growing tension and fear amongst Pakistani Christians underscore the delicate balance of religious harmony in Pakistan, a country with a history of sectarian violence. This latest development adds a new layer of complexity to the religious dynamics within Pakistan and highlights the potential for international incidents to spark local unrest