www.barnabasfund.org Tensions were raised in many Muslim-majority parts of the world in September when a Florida pastor threatened to burn copies of the Qur’an on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks. Although he cancelled his plans at the last minute, Christian minorities around the world were very fearful of retaliation by outraged Muslims. In some places specific threats were voiced against local Christians, and rumours that a Qur’an had been desecrated elsewhere in the United States provoked a violent Muslim response in two Indian towns.
On Sunday 12 September the one Christian church in Malerkotla, which is the only Muslim-majority town in the Indian state of Punjab, was attacked by a Muslim mob. They dragged the church furniture out of the building and set it on fire, and tried to demolish parts of the church. On 13 September, a Christian school made of wood in Tangmarg town, Kashmir, India, was burnt to ashes by an angry mob. A government office and a police vehicle were also set on fire, and large crowds gathered in the city of Srinagar, Kashmir, to chant pro-Islam and anti-American slogans. According to reports, local people in both places were incensed by news that a copy of the Quran had been burnt in Michigan, USA.
The same weekend a bomb exploded outside a church in Mardan, Pakistan, injuring two people.
- Thank God that none of the students was injured in the attack in Tangmarg town, India.
- Pray that Christians in the safety and freedom of the West may realise the effects that their actions can have on vulnerable Christian minorities in other parts of the world.