Tense atmosphere after Peshawar attack: Pontifical Mission Director
After three days of mourning to remember the victims of the September 22 suicide bombing at the Church of All Saints in Peshawar, ecumenical prayer vigils continue to be organized in different parts.
A prayer vigil in memory of the victims of the Peshawar church attack was held on Thursday at St. Anthony Church in Lahore, which saw the participation of members of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Pakistan.
After three days of mourning to remember the victims of the September 22 suicide bombing at the Church of All Saints in Peshawar, ecumenical prayer vigils continue to be organized in different parts of Pakistan.
Father Waseem Walter, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Pakistan, described the atmosphere of high tension among the religious minorities after the attack, "It is a very sad moment for the Church of Pakistan. The situation is very critical. The faithful Christians who died in the attack at the church of Peshawar are the innocent martyrs of faith, as they were killed while they were in church to pray. In our churches, we are organizing prayer vigils for them. We ask all the faithful in the world to pray for us."
Associations of Pakistani Christians abroad multiplied the initiatives to help Christian families of Peshawar affected by the tragedy.
Asia Evangelical Alliance, which combines the evangelical Christian community of the entire continent, launched a strong appeal to prayer in solidarity with Pakistani Christians.
The Justice and Peace Commission of the Bishops’ Conference of India issued a statement calling for justice for the victims, compensation for the families and invoking protection for Christians.
Christian lawyer, Nasir Saeed, agreed with Father Walter’s observation on the plight of Pakistani Christians, "I fear that the attack in Peshawar may mark a negative turning point for the persecution of Christians in Pakistan. So far, they often were hit with false blasphemy accusations. Now the intimidation becomes barbaric murder and attempt to eliminate Christians from the country." Saeed heads an NGO, CLAAS, committed to providing legal aid to Christians in Pakistan.
Source: Agenzia Fides