In 1997, Bishop John Joseph of Faisalabad wrote the following about the February 1997 attacks on the Christian village of Shantingar:
In February this year, someone wrote names of three Christians on some pages of the Quran and threw these pages in a deserted mosque in a Christian village called Shantinagar. The extremists gathered over thirty thousand Muslims and attacked the Christian houses and churches in that area: Over one thousand houses were totally burned, 214 churches destroyed and burned, hundreds of cows and buffaloes burned or mutilated. The trees, vegetable gardens and crops belonging to the Christians were destroyed because from the loudspeakers of each mosque was being shouted: “Destroy the Kafirs [infidels]. It is your duty — fulfill it now!”
In 1998, Bishop John Joseph later killed himself in protest when a member of his diocese, Ayub Masih, was sentenced to death for blasphemy.
Had Bishop John Joseph been alive today, Gojra would have been a part of his diocese.