ASIA/PAKISTAN - The Church helps the economic and social reintegration of former prisoners

Thursday, 20 January 2022 human rights   work   society   prisoners  

Lahore (Agenzia Fides) - "God is merciful, he is our creator and supplier and takes care of our needs. We continued to raise funds to support our brothers, who have been in prison for five years. After their release, it is difficult for them to find a job, so we thought of helping them start their own business. Last year at Christmas we supported some of them, this year we are helping another 20 people to start a business to support their families", explains the Archbishop of Lahore, Sebastian Francis Shaw, to Agenzia Fides. The Archbishop further states: "In times of suffering, we thank God for the release of our brothers in prison; we have started working to support these people in setting up their businesses". Encouraging former prisoners, Archbishop Sebastian comments: "With this material help we have provided some with a rickshaw, others with building materials or items to run a grocery store. Together with this material support, we thank our priests, catechists and faithful who have been at the side of these former prisoners and their families in their time of need". "We thank God that the people who were helped at Christmas in 2020 are now well; we pray for you so that God blesses your efforts", concluded the Archbishop. The Catholic Church has supported 42 Christian prisoners released after five years in prison. These 42 men were arrested for destroying government property and killing two Muslim men suspected of being related to suicide bombers who had attacked churches in Youhanabad, a district of Lahore, on March 15, 2015. They were all released in January 2020 after compensating the families of the two murdered Muslims. On March 15, 2015, two suicide bombers attacked Christ Church (Protestant) and St. John's Catholic Church in Youhanabad, the largest Christian colony in Lahore, home to more than 100,000 Christians. (AF) (Agenzia Fides, 20/1/2022)