You Are Free To Go To Your Churches

“I can’t find my daughter, where did she go?.. is this justice? I spent all my savings to make dowry for my daughter… where is she? they took everything..” her voice shaking as she nodded in disbelief in the empty charred streets of Joseph colony. An angry mob set  180 houses on fire in reaction to an alleged incident of blasphemy. In another corner, a young man spoke to the camera “If this what they do to our schools, our churches and our houses, what will they do to us?…”. 2 years later, the sights and sounds of Joseph Colony can be witnessed elsewhere in Kot Radha Kishan, where a pregnant woman and her husband were burnt alive in a brick kiln because someone said they had disrespected the Prophet.

Change the names, places and time but the rest remains the same, too many Christian families have lost loved ones, belongings, churches and their homes to an angry mob only satiated by blood. Nevertheless, another attack took place this week, when two suicide bombers attacked churches in Lahore that left 17 dead, and over 70 injured. This time though, the Christian community took the streets in a “rare” display of rage. Rare because we are too accustomed to feeling sorry for the poor minorities who are now being eliminated on church at a time, the helpless minority who have no one to speak for them, the weak minority who need immediate attention and protection, the minority that mostly just gets our pity rather than solidarity.

The same community, 100,000 strong in Youhanabad took to the streets to demand justice. Raging and in grief, a Lynch mob senselessly attacked a glass-cutter, someone shouted demanding mercy for Naeem, but there was no stopping, for the crowd Naeem was a supposed accomplice of the attackers who had mercilessly killed dozens. Today, reports reveal that Naeem only went   to do his job, on the wrong day at the wrong time.It’s startlingly painful to imagine, the fear, the rage and the burning desire for revenge. Reports have emerged regarding the protesters turning violent, it’s disturbingly shocking that it seems rather odd that members of a “a minority community” not only took the streets but decided to turn violent to express their anger and frustration. We are so accustomed of the pleading for mercy that the images of an angry protest shakes us to the core.

This isn’t just rage, it is resistance, pushing back and reclaiming their right to life. This may be the first time, but it won’t be the last. When cries for mercy, peace and protection go unnoticed for decades, a stronger more powerful resistance emerges. This is that moment and this time it has come at the cost of innocent people’s life.They’ll be more blood on the streets after every attack, they’ll be more burning after homes are charred and the silent minority won’t just be on your tv screens they’d be in your streets and outside your doorstep demanding justice.

“We pick their garbage, we clean their houses, we make this place liveable. They kill us and they’d smother in their own garbage..”


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