Christians in Pakistan took to roads to protest twin bombings at the All Saints Church in Peshawar. The bombing took place on Sunday, killing 81 innocents and injuring another 140. It occurred when worshippers were moving to receive free food after the service. Soon after the attack, an affiliate of Pakistani Taliban took responsibility for the twin blasts, reports leading Pakistani daily the Dawn. Militants said that they will keep attacking non-Muslim communities unless the United States stops drone attacks in Pakistan.
Pakistan’s peace attempt with militants in trouble
It is the deadliest attack on a Christian community in the history of Pakistan, reports the Associated Press. Angry Christians blocked roads in Peshawar on Monday. Large rallies and demonstrations are also reported in Lahore, Quetta, Hyderabad, Karachi, Faisalabad, Multan, Islamabad and Gujranwala. On one of the main roads in Islamabad, protesters burned tires, brush and effigies of politicians. Christian demonstrators demanded government protection for their community.
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Yesterday’s bombings once again raise the issue of lack of security in Pakistan. It will also impact Pakistan government’s efforts to reach a peace agreement with militants. Insurgents have killed thousands of people in the country over the past decade.
Churches in Pakistan to be closed for three days
Christian leader Nasir Gill said that missionary places in Pakistan will be shut down for the next three days. Police officer Noor Khan in Peshawar said that the security of churches has in increased in the city. However, Christians want the government to take bolder and stronger steps to protect their community.
Christians accounts for less than 2% of Pakistan’s total population. In Pakistan, they are seen as enemies of Islam, and have been attacked several times by Sunni Muslim insurgents for their faith.
The international community also condemned the Sunday bombings. Wilson Chowdhry, chairman of British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) said that protesters in London will rally outside the Pakistan embassy in London on Tuesday.
According to latest reports, the death toll has reached 85 as four more people succumbed to death in the hospital.