Posted by News Express | 24 September 2013 | 2,818 times
Pakistani Christian have been thrown into deep mourning following the worst-ever attack on the country’s beleaguered Christian community.
The tragedy of monumental proportions took place at the All Saints’ church in Peshawar, which has been a symbol of interfaith harmony ever since it was built in 1883. The church is well known for its Mughalesque features, gleaming white dome and minaret-like towers.
As in a mosque, worshippers remove their shoes before entering the historic building, where biblical quotations are emblazoned on the walls in English, Hebrew and Persian scripts.
“Some of the congregation were in bare feet as they filed out of the Anglican church on Sunday morning straight into the blast zone of one of two suicide bombers from a Taliban faction that has vowed to kill non-Muslims until the US cancels its lethal drone strikes in the country,” report The Guardian of London.
According to a tally based on information from local officials, 85 people were killed and more than 100 injured, although one doctor who arrived at the scene moments after the blast believes that even more died but their bodies were recovered by relatives before they could be accounted for.
According to The Guardian: “Whatever the number, it was Pakistan’s worst attack on Christians, sparking impassioned, country-wide protests. Christians are a tiny and politically weak minority in Muslim-majority Pakistan who suffer from prejudice and sporadic bouts of mob violence. But Sunday was the first time that bombs had been used to such deadly effect on worshippers.
“It bore the hallmarks of similar attacks by sectarian terror groups whose attacks have caused huge casualties among Shia communities. And Sunday’s atrocity was claimed by the Jundullah branch of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a group that has orchestrated attacks against Shias. On Monday, the TTP’s main spokesman denied any involvement.”
The report quotes Mano Rumalshah, the bishop emeritus of Peshawar, who was standing in the courtyard, comforting sobbing parishioners who clasped his white robes, as saying: “It’s not safe for Christians in this country. Everyone is ignoring the growing danger to Christians in Muslim-majority countries. The European countries don’t give a damn about us.”
Others, according to the report, echoed the bishop’s warning, saying that Christians would only be safe if they left Pakistan. But others vowed to remain and show they were not afraid.
•Photo shows some Pakistani Christians mourning their loved ones killed in the suicide attacks.
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