Monday, September 23, 2013
Target Killing of Christians in Pakistan
Once again Christians are under attack in Pakistan where the state has completely failed to save the lives of the people. On Sunday two suicide bombers attacked a landmark 19th century church in Peshawar, killing 75 people and wounding dozens more.
The bombers struck soon after Sunday service, just as hundreds of worshipers were streaming out of the All Saints Church in the northwestern city’s old quarter. The church is one of the most famous in Pakistan, noted for its colonial history (it was built in 1883 by a British officer) and its elegant, white-walled and domed design that resembles many of the old mosques in this Muslim-majority country.Pakistan's long-suffering Christian community is among the country's most vulnerable minorities. In Punjab, Pakistan's most province, many Christians are converts and formerly low-caste Hindus branded as "untouchables" by bigots. Many are to find jobs only as sanitation workers or performing other menial tasks.
Sunday's attack is the second major bombing of a Christian church in northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. A church was bombed in Mardan last year. In past four years, there have been repeated attacks on Christians in which unsubstantiated charges of blasphemy are hurled at a member of the community before mob torches Christian homes, forcing residents to flee. In 2011 Shahbaz Bhatti, the only Christian member of the cabinet at the time, was brutally gunned down outside his mother's home in Islamabad for his opposition to Pakistan's controversial blasphemy law. People who stood in solidarity with the Christian community or have raised voice against blasphemy law have also been targeted such as the late governor of Punjab Salman Taseer who was shot dead by his body guard.
Pakistan is indeed a country without a nation, a country deeply divided on religious and ethnic lines.
May Allah give strength to the bereaved families to bear the loss of untimely death of their loved ones and may the souls rest in peace!