Christians in Pakistan are afraid to return home

Christians in Pakistan are afraid to return home

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Many people here spent the first few days after the attack living outside in the scorching heat, in the fields and on the streets.

They described feelings of depression and anxiety, a fear of open spaces, trouble sleeping and crying frequently when they recalled Wednesday’s events.

Community leader Akmal Bhatti said, “Most people in the Christian colony in Jaranwala are afraid to return home because of the unrest and uncertainty about their safety.”

“All this is creating a sense of fear,” he said. “Most children suffer from psychological problems… Now, boys and girls are afraid of people, they don’t want to go to markets and crowded places.”

Government officials at the heavily guarded shelter said they would allow people to stay as long as needed, adding that doctors and nurses have been deployed to provide assistance.

NGOs estimate that hundreds of people have been physically displaced along with thousands of Christians in the area affected by the violence. Some are living in temporary shelters nearby, and others with relatives.

Kanwal and his mother, Kiran, are not sure how much longer the family will last.

Kiran said, “Now my biggest wish is that I want security.” “I want a safe place for my family to live. The fear that has settled in my heart and my children’s mind is not going away.”

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