Christian schools in Pakistan went on strike Monday, closing for three
days to protest the murders of seven members of their community during
riots by majority Muslims.
On Saturday, an angry mob of Muslims stormed a Christan neighborhood in
Gojra in Punjab province, torching dozens of homes over allegations
that Christians had desecrated the Koran. Most of those who died were
burned to death.
The violence prompted condolences from Pope Benedict, who said he was "deeply grieved" by what he called a "senseless attack."
Pakistani Bishop Sadiq Daniel says there is no proof that anyone
desecrated the Koran, Islam's holy book. And government officials say
there is no truth to the allegations.
Under a law in Pakistan forbidding blasphemy, defiling the Koran is punishable by death.
Christians make up a tiny minority of Pakistan's predominantly Sunni Muslim population.
The riots have raised fears of widening unrest. Pakistani paramilitary
troops have been patrolling Gojra, where officials have urged both the
Muslim and Christian communities to show restraint.
The riots began Thursday, but had calmed before flaring up again Saturday.