Christians are feeling the heat of growing religious intolerance in Pakistan

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LAHORE: The Christian citizens of Pakistan are now getting vibes of the boosted religious intolerance in the country.

 

Homeless Christians of Joseph Colony
Homeless Christians of Joseph Colony

 

Not very long ago, Younus Gill’s house stood soundly at the place, as he now sits at a nearby pavement staring in perplexity at the seared structure.Younus Gill is a resident of Joseph Colony, Badami Bagh. His house was among those dire buildings that were set on fire a mob of around 3000; on purpose on 9th of March, 2013.

 

Barely escaping death Younus and his family are now left with nothing but a feeling of fear. The clamorous thoughts still haunt their minds as they can sense the heat of surging religious intolerance in Pakistan.

Younus Gill is a self- employed tax collector and chief bread winner of his family. He and his family are now striving to piece their lives together as they depend on Government aid or Charity by various Christian organizations.

 

The Lahore diocese of the Church of Pakistan handed out a fridge, ceiling fans, pedestal fan, a two-burner stove, bicycle and iron to each of the affected families on 22nd of April, 2013 – aiding them for the most part. “The provincial government helped with the reconstruction of our house and NGOs and relief organizations are constantly supporting the locals since the tragedy occurred,” Younus Gill said.

 

“Nevertheless by the passage of time, and the return of a sense of normality, has not replaced the fear that swept through this settlement just over a month ago. Residents fear reprisal from accused arsonists who have won bail from the courts,” he moans

 

“They are now back on the streets, some of them with a vengeance”, Gill said.

 

Nonetheless, with elections approaching, the Christian community is focusing its  attention on their overall lack of representation in the Parliament, with some leading Christian political parties calling for a boycott of the 2013 polls.