Archbishop asks for prayers after attack on Christians in Pakistan

A LEADING PAKISTAN bishop has appealed for prayer after Christians in Quetta suffered their third attack in five months.

Two Christian men—named as Rashid Khalid and Azhar Iqbal—and three others were injured after four attackers on motorbikes started shooting at people near a church in Quetta’s Essa Nagri Christian neighborhood.

Aid to the Church in Need supports the suffering and persecuted Church around the world, including in Pakistan where Christians are targeted by Islamists
Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw

The attack, on April 15, 2018, came nearly two weeks after a family of four Catholics from Lahore were gunned down outside a relative’s house during an Easter visit to the city.

The dead—named as Parvaiz, Kamran, Tariq and Fordous—had reportedly just stepped outside to buy ice cream when they were targeted.

According to a missionary group in Pakistan, the attackers left a pamphlet at the scene of the crime describing the killing as “the first episode of genocide against Christians.”

ISIS claimed responsibility for both attacks.

Archbishop Sebastian Francis Shaw of Lahore told us that “the faithful in Quetta are deeply concerned and worried.

“All these sufferings and pain can be overcome by faith, so through Aid to the Church in Need I call on everyone to pray for peace and harmony so that people of all religions may live in Pakistan in peace and harmony.”

The archbishop commented: “When we see these atrocities happening one after another, we very much depend on the spiritual communion that we have with friends and benefactors of Aid to the Church in Need.”

He added: “When we are tempted to lose hope, we are reminded that, through your compassion and prayers, you are with us, by our side.”

The archbishop called for increased police protection. He said: “The government should provide better security so that all the people can live side by side safe and secure.”

Quetta’s Christians were also targeted last December when two suicide bombers stormed a packed Christmas service held in the city’s Bethel Methodist Church, leaving 11 dead and injuring more than 50 others.

In October 2017, militants hurled a grenade at a Protestant church in Quetta’s Arbab Karam Khan Road area, but nobody was hurt as worshippers had already left the building.

That same month, Pakistan was identified as a country with worsening persecution in “Persecuted and Forgotten?” A Report on Christians oppressed for their Faith, which we produce every two years by examining parts of the world of particular concern for faithful under threat from religious freedom violations.

Pakistan is a priority country for our organization, which works in more than 140 countries around the world.
—John Pontifex

Support the Suffering Church