CCA strongly condemns violence against Christian homes and churches in Jaranwala, Pakistan

Programme Review and Programme Direction

Two key deliberative sessions during the 15th CCA General Assembly are the Programme Review and Programme Direction sessions.

The Programme Review and Programme Direction sessions will both be conducted in three groups relating to the CCA’s programme areas, namely, (i) General Secretariat (GS), (ii) Mission in Unity and Contextual Theology (MU) and Ecumenical Leadership Formation and Spirituality (EF); and (iii) Building Peace and Moving Beyond Conflicts (BP) and Prophetic Diakonia (PD).

Assembly participants will have the option to join one of three groups for both the Programme Review and Programme Direction sessions. For the sake of coherence, the assigned group will remain the same for both sessions.

General Secretariat

The General Secretariat oversees the coordination of programmatic, administrative, and financial activities of the organization. The GS comprises various departments such as church and ecumenical relations, relations with ecumenical partners, finance, administration, and communications, which provide crucial support and services for the implementation of programs and contribute to the overall functioning of the CCA.

Programmes: Relations with member churches and councils, ecumenical partners; advocacy at the United Nations; ecumenical responses to emerging issues in solidarity; income development and finance; and communications.

Mission in Unity and Contextual Theology (MU) and Ecumenical Leadership Formation and Spirituality (EF)

Under the MU programme area, the CCA accompanies Asian churches to strengthen their mission and witness in multi-religious contexts, revitalise and nurture church unity and the Asian ecumenical movement, and develop contextual theological foundations.

Programmes: Asian Movement for Christian Unity (AMCU); Congress of Asian Theologians (CATS); Asian women doing theology in the context of wider ecumenism; contextualisation of theology in Asia and ecumenical theological education.

The EF programme area focuses on nurturing and developing ecumenical leaders in Asia. The programme aims to enhance spiritual formation and theological understanding, enabling people to actively engage in ecumenical dialogue and collaboration.

Programmes: Ecumenical Enablers’ Training in Asia (EETA); Asian Ecumenical Institute (AEI); Youth and Women Leadership Development; Ecumenical Spirituality and Nurturing of Contextual Liturgical Traditions; Asia Sunday

Building Peace and Moving Beyond Conflicts (BP) and Prophetic Diakonia and Advocacy (PD)

The BP programme area is dedicated to promoting peace, justice, and reconciliation in Asia’s diverse contexts. Through training, advocacy, and dialogue, the programme addresses the root causes of conflicts, empowers communities, and fosters sustainable peacebuilding initiatives.

Programmes: Pastoral Solidarity Visits; Churches in Action for Moving Beyond Conflict and Resolution; Young Ambassadors of Peace in Asia (YAPA); Ecumenical Women’s Action Against Violence (EWAAV); Eco-Justice for Sustainable Peace in the Oikos.

The PD programme area focuses on promoting justice, human rights, and social transformation in Asia. Through advocacy, capacity-building, and raising awareness, the programme addresses systemic injustice, empowers marginalised communities, and advocates for prophetic actions and meaningful change.

Programmes: Human Rights advocacy; Migration, Statelessness, and Trafficking in Persons; Asian Ecumenical Disability Advocacy Network; Asian Advocacy Network on the Dignity and Rights of Children (AANDRoC); Ecumenical Solidarity Accompaniment and Diakonia in Asia (ESADA); Health and Healing; Good Governance; Action Together to Combat HIV and AIDS in Asia (ATCHAA).

No preference updated.

    Chiang Mai, Thailand: The General Secretary of the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA), Dr Mathews George Chunakara, strongly condemned the attacks on the churches and homes of Christian families in Jaranwala, Faisalabad district, of the Punjab province in Pakistan. 

    On 16 August, two Christians were allegedly accused of committing blasphemy and violating the Quran. Angry mobs soon descended onto Maharanwala Basti, a predominantly Christian neighbourhood, and set fire to eleven churches and several houses and shops, which forced over 500 families to vacate. The misuse of social media by community leaders to incite religious intolerance and violence is also reproachable.

    A Statement released by the CCA General Secretary condemned the targeted attacks on the Christian community in Jaranwala and appealed for an immediate end to the violence. 

    Pakistani Christians make up a little over one percent of the population in Pakistan. The Christian community in Pakistan is one of the most marginalised in the world, facing dire socio-economic conditions due to caste-based religious and occupational discrimination, threats of forced conversion, and false allegations of blasphemy. 

    The violence faced by the Christian community in Jaranwala is the latest in a recent spate of alleged accusations of blasphemy against Christians in different Pakistani cities. A lack of meaningful action from authorities further propels widespread impunity.

    In the statement, the CCA denounced the weaponisation of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws against minority groups and called for immediate police intervention and for the safeguarding of Christian residences and churches to prevent further violence. 

    The full text of the CCA’s General Secretary’s Statement on the violence against Christian homes and churches in Pakistan can be found below: