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The Diocese of Blackburn is deeply troubled by the news of violence against Christians in Jaranwala, Pakistan.

This has included the burning of churches - some 20 or more at the last count; houses and Bibles and has resulted in many having to flee their homes in fear of violence.

We are glad to see that the Prime Minister of Pakistan has called for swift action against those responsible and we pray for all impacted by the violence, as well as the clergy and lay leaders of the churches who serve them.

The Diocese of Blackburn has many links to Pakistan and views these as extremely important. A prayer vigil for peace in that area will be held at St James Church, Blackburn, BB1 8EL at 4pm on Sunday, August 20.

All are welcome from across the County and beyond and this service will be live streamed through St James’ social media sites including here on Facebook

A retiring offering will be taken up to support Christian families facing persecution in the area.

The Vicar of St James' (and also St Stephen's in Blackburn) is Rev Dr Sarah Gill, who is also the Bishop's Adviser on Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) and Global Majority Heritage (GMH) Matters. She is available for further discussion in relation to the above statement, also this weekend's prayer event, on 07713 821771.

  • To date, the story has not seen much exposure in national media in this country, but you can read more about it for background on the BBC News website here.