Pakistani actress Mahira Khan reacted to the attacks on churches over blasphemy allegations in Faisalabad district, calling the incident shameful.
“Shame on us!” Mahira said in a quoted tweet by Bishop Azad Marshall, the Moderator Bishop of the Church of Pakistan.
The church attacks took place on Wednesday in Faisalabad’s Jaranwala area. It erupted after Muslims living in the area claimed they had seen a local Christian, Raja Amir, and his friend tearing out pages from the Quran, throwing them on the ground and writing insulting remarks on other pages, reported news agency Associated Press.
Amir’s house was demolished and the mob ransacked and torched 21 churches and several houses of Christians. A Christian cemetery and the office of the local assistant commissioner were also vandalised.
A government source told Reuters that the mob comprised thousands of people led by local clerics, mainly from an Islamist political party called the Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan (TLP). However, it denied inciting the violence and said it had worked with police to try to calm things down.
Police arrested over 100 suspects after the attacks, including activists of the TLP.
Prohibitory orders were issued against the gathering of four or more people in Jaranwala and all educational institutions, business centres and markets remained closed on Thursday.