ADVERTISING
 
Friday, October 19   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 
Flecha
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Media
Do the media in your country usually portray evangelical Christians accurately?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



After twin attacks
 

Situation “becoming extremely tense” in Pakistan

Both the media and mosques have been accused of escalating the situation with hate messages. Riots erupted in reaction to explosions which killed at least 14 in two churches. Christians have asked the government to take real action to protect churches.

SOURCES EAUK, BBC, Pakistan Today LAHORE 17 MARCH 2015 11:45 h GMT+1
Lahore Christians Protests in Lahore after the attacks which killed 17 Christians. / BBC

Hundreds of Christians have protested over the last few days in Lahore after suicide bombers killed at least 17 people and injured 78 as worshippers were subjected to attacks while attending two churches in Youhanabad (Lahore, Pakistan) last Sunday.



Pakistan’s Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan called for calm and urged protesters not to take the law into their own hands as they blocked roads and burned tyres in Youhanabad, Lahore's largest Christian neighbourhood.



Protests have also been taking place in the eastern cities of Faisalabad, Sargodha and Gujranwala.



 



Children holding 'we need protection' signs. / BBC



Christian missionary schools around the country are closed as Pakistan observes a day of mourning.



 



FIRST ATTACK: AN ANGLICAN CHURCH



The first attack happened on Sunday and it targeted Christ Church, an Anglican community, according to information gathered by the EAUK.



Pastor Ashknaz explained the situation to local newspaper Pakistan Today: “The church service was about to end when we heard 12 to 13 gunshots at the main door and within seconds a loud explosion shattered the windowpanes of the church and the nearby shops and houses. We immediately hurried everyone out of the church building from the back door.” 



Reports suggested that the death count would have been much higher if it hadn’t been for the brave actions of volunteer security forces and a few police officers, who spotted the bombers and prevented them from entering the church.



Maryam Bibi, a member of Christ Church, told the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA): “As soon as the service finished I could hear guns firing and I asked my mother to stay seated at the front of the church. Soon after there was blast at the gate and pieces of flesh and blood sprayed across all of those in the church. 



“Everywhere I looked there was broken window panes, blood and shoes scattered across the blast site.”



Many of injured victims were taken to Lahore General Hospital and discharged with minor injuries, however at least 35 were admitted in a critical condition



 



SECOND ATTACK: A CATHOLIC CHURCH



Saint John's Catholic Church was the second to be attacked, and here also many lives were saved by the actions of a volunteer, Zahid Yousaf, aged 45.



He wrestled an explosive-laden terrorist to the ground and was then shot and killed. Pakistan Today reported that at least 1,200 Christians were in the church at the time of the attack, and that a second bomber was also prevented from entering the building by a young Christian.



 



Moments after the attack against Saint John's. / Pakistan Today



A Pakistani Taliban (TTP) splinter group, Jamaat-ur-Ahrar, has claimed responsibility for both attacks.



 



PROTESTORS TAKE LAW INTO THEIR OWN HANDS



According to local pastors threats had been made against the churches of Yohanabad for the last 3 months, but police had not provided additional protection.



Anger spilt onto the streets following the atrocities, with reports that enraged groups attacked suspected terrorists. Two suspects were said to have been tortured and burnt to death on the Ferozepur Road by a furious crowd.



Father Gulzar of the attacked Saint John's Catholic Church told the BPCA that police have been brutally beating many protestors with excessive aggression and force, leading to riots in which four Christian men have been killed.



 



MEDIA AND MOSQUES ESCALATE TENSION



Sections of the media in Pakistan are also suspected of stoking tensions by falsely reporting that Christians are smashing vehicles. Christian and Muslim leaders are calling for calm, but there is concern that the situation could escalate, with protestors now clashing with police.



Wilson Chowdhry, chairman of the BPCA, said: “The situation is getting extremely tense.  Christians are being blamed incorrectly during a relatively peaceful process and we are concerned that the violence will escalate as local mosques are not being prevented from preaching hatred.”  



“It is imperative that churches pray for the situation now. We need God's divine intervention if peace is to be restored any time soon.”



Al Jazeera reported that Ahsanullah Ahsan, a spokesman for the Taliban faction, had said: “We promise that until an Islamic system is put into place in Pakistan such attacks will continue. If Pakistan's rulers think they can stop us, they should try to do so.”



 



FALSE ACCUSATIONS AGAINST CHRISTIANS



Pakistan is notorious for the impact of its blasphemy laws on Christian citizens who frequently face false accusations and the threat of attacks and imprisonment. Just a few months ago in another Christian area of Lahore, Joseph Colony, a Christian man was accused of blasphemy, reportedly leading to a rampage during which 3,000 Muslim protestors torched some 100 houses.



 



Families of victims after the attacks, on Sunday. / Pakistan Today



Wilson Chowdhry, chairman of the BPCA explains: “This latest attack on an innocent Christian community is symptomatic of the hatred and vilification that Christians and other minorities face in Pakistan.”



“My heart aches for my brothers and sisters in Pakistan who are undergoing such extreme persecution. The global Church has to speak out for this voiceless community or their suffering is set to get worse.”



 



CSW: GOVERNMENT HAS NOT REACTED AFTER 2013 ATTACKS



Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) is calling for the perpetrators to be apprehended and held accountable, and for the Pakistani government to learn the lessons from the 2013 twin suicide attacks, which killed 180 people in All Saints Church in Peshawar.



CSW claims that the government has still not fulfilled its pledge to bring justice to the victims of the 2013 attacks, including delivering on its promise of compensation.



Christians make up less than 2% of Pakistan's population and many are among its poorest people.



You can read more about the happenings after the attacks on Sunday, the 15th of March, in this Morning Star report


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - Situation “becoming extremely tense” in Pakistan
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA

“Prostitution is nobody’s dream,  it’s a very traumatic lifestyle”, says Kathy Bryan, director of the Elevate Academy. She mentors former victims.

 
Christians in politics? Christians in politics?

What is the role of Christians serving in politics? An interview with Auke Minnema, the new General Director of the European Christian Political Movement (ECPM).

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Photos: Reaching people with disabilities Photos: Reaching people with disabilities

Seminars, an arts exhibition, discussion and testimonies. The European Disability Network met in Tallinn.

 
Photos: Hope for Europe Photos: Hope for Europe

Unity in Diversity is the theme of the conference. Representatives of Evangelical Alliances and many other church leaders gathered in Tallinn (Estonia).

 
Sharing Jesus with World Cup fans in Moscow Sharing Jesus with World Cup fans in Moscow

A team of Steiger mission is starting conversations about the gospel in the middst of the football celebration in Russia.

 
European “Bridges to Inclusion” gathering 2018, in Riga European “Bridges to Inclusion” gathering 2018, in Riga

The network of Christian ministries working for the inclusion of people with disabilities, celebrated its tenth continental meeting in Latvia with the participation of 12 countries.

 

 
VIDEO Video
 
Biotechnology: “There is a difference between restoration and enhancement” Biotechnology: “There is a difference between restoration and enhancement”

“We have to understand the times in which we live, and have discernment”, says Doctor Peter J. Saunders.

 
The Manzanas case The Manzanas case

A short documentary about how retired pastors and widows of an evangelical denomination in Spain fight a legal battle for their pensions after the favourable ruling of the European Court of Human Rights.

 
How does romantic love change over time? How does romantic love change over time?

Psychatrist Pablo Martínez uses a metaphor to explain how romantic love evolves.

 
‘Mediterráneo’ ‘Mediterráneo’

“Something will change if you have hunger and thirst for justice”, sings Spanish artist Eva Betoret in a song about the refugee crisis.

 
How the loss of universal values led to a loss of civility How the loss of universal values led to a loss of civility

Author Bruce Little: “We have moved from a sense of responsibility to ‘my personal rights’”.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.