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Islamic Relief provides aid to Christian families affected by riots in Pakistan

Islamic Relief is distributing emergency aid to Christian families who have been attacked and made homeless in the city of Jaranwala in Pakistan’s Punjab province.

More than one thousand Christian families have been affected by the riots that broke out last month. Mobs torched and vandalised churches and homes, forcing families to flee – with children and elderly people among the homeless and sleeping out in the open fields. People’s food stocks and belongings were also destroyed in the blaze.

Islamic Relief joins other civil society groups, religious scholars, and the government of Pakistan in strongly condemning the attacks.

Inspired and guided by our Islamic faith and our values, we condemn all attacks on places of worship and religious communities, and we provide aid to vulnerable people regardless of their faith. No one should be a target because of their religion.

During the flood response last year we saw how communities across Pakistan pulled together to support their neighbours in need regardless of their background. We hope this spirit lives on and communities continue to support one another.

Islamic Relief’s emergency response team is now distributing food packs and items including hygiene kits to displaced families. The riots have now been brought under control but many families have no homes left to return to. Children and adults are also in need of psychosocial support after witnessing extreme violence and seeing their homes burnt down before their eyes.

According to latest reports, the riots vandalised 19 churches, completely destroyed 89 houses and partially damaged around 400 more homes.

Tufail Hussain, Director, Islamic Relief UK adds: “We at Islamic Relief are horrified by the scenes of violence in Pakistan. Our hearts go out to the Christian families made homeless by the senseless violence in Jaranwala, Punjab province, who now number over a thousand. We join civil society groups, religious scholars, and the Pakistani government in condemning these unforgivable acts. The religion we know is one of peace and understanding, with no place for such violence. We’ve seen how the communities of Pakistan pulled together to help one another after last year’s devastating floods, and implore for that community spirit to return. Islamic Relief continues to work in the region, helping those displaced in any way we can.”

Islamic Relief has worked in Pakistan since 1992 providing emergency aid and long-term development to tackle poverty and climate change. Last year we supported more than 1.4 million people across the country.

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