Pakistan: Christian priest injured in shooting at Jaranwala

Pakistan: Christian priest injured in shooting at Jaranwala


In another act of persecution of minorities in Pakistan, a Christian priest was shot at and injured by an unidentified suspect in Fai­sal­abad on Sunday night (3 September), Dawn news reported. 

Reverend Father Eleazar Sidhu was discharged from the hospital on Monday afternoon and he had a dressing on his hand, the report added, citing sources. Sidhu is said to be the priest at Myong-Sang Naserth church in Jaranwala tehsil.  

Following the Jaranwala shooting, an FIR was filed under Sections 324 (attempt to murder) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code. 

According to the FIR, Father Sidhu stated that he was leading prayers in the church on the 28th of August when someone wrote objectionable religious slogans against him on the outer wall of the church. He added that these objectionable slogans were later whitewashed by police on his complaint. 

The complaint added that a few days ago when he went to drop his son off at school, a few bearded people threatened him. They reportedly said, “As our written slogans have been deleted from the wall of the church, soon you will also be deleted”. 

Narrating the incident, Father Sidhu stated that he was returning home from the church on Sunday evening (3 September) when an unidentified bearded man shot and injured him. Consequently, he was admitted to the Faisalabad DHQ Hospital from where he was discharged the next day. 

A spokesperson for Faisalabad police said that they are currently conducting an investigation into the case. 

As per media reports, the incident reportedly took place near Sem Nullah at Adda Khanoana, in Faisalabad tehsil while the Myong-Sang Naserth church is located in Reh­mat Town in Jaranwala tehsil. 

It is important to note that the Jaranwala area rose to the limelight a few weeks ago when coordinated attacks were launched on the Christian community living in this area. 

Evidently, in mid-August, the Islamists targeted the Christians in Jaranwala of the Faisalabad district in Pakistan, over blasphemy charges. The majority Muslim community attacked the minority Christian community and their churches. They reportedly vandalised and torched several Churches that were located in the neighbourhood. 

The mob carried out violent attacks on Churches allegedly after a Christian citizen, Saleem Masih, was accused of committing blasphemy against the Quran.  

Speaking on the horrific attack, Azad Marshall who is the President Bishop of Pakistan 

expressed his fear and helplessness over the predicament of Christians in Pakistan on the social media platform X. 

“Words fail me as I write this. We, Bishops, Priests, and lay people are deeply pained and distressed at the Jaranwala incident in the Faisalabad District in Pakistan. A church building is being burnt as I type this message,” he tweeted.

He further added, “Bibles have been desecrated and Christians have been tortured and harassed having been falsely accused of violating the Holy Quran. We cry out for justice and action from law enforcement and those who dispense justice and the safety of all citizens to intervene immediately and assure us that our lives are valuable in our own homeland that has just celebrated independence and freedom.” 

Notably, Pakistan’s treatment of its minorities, particularly Hindus, is already under the scanner and has been severely criticised multiple times in different international reports. The extremists in Pakistan are also notorious for using spurious charges and unfounded allegations to whip up communal passions in the name of blasphemy and for targeting minorities, including Hindus and Christians.





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