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Terrorist attacks have been at the fore-front of news and even more so in recent years. Pukaar News reflects on this serious issue that seems to be continuously affecting the Christian community within Pakistan.

Lahore is referred to as the cultural heart of Pakistan, a city that’s host to an array of festivals, entertainment, cuisine and leading centre of literary, educational and cultural activity. A metropolitan city, which over the years has been at the brunt of such violent terrorist attacks, targeting the Christian minority groups residing in Pakistan.

The Christian community within Pakistan have once again been targeted, resulting in such senseless and brutal attacks, escalating to such inhumane extremes. Christian families within the city of Lahore had harmlessly come together to enjoy and celebrate the Easter holidays at a funfair in the park, unaware that their lives would be turned upside down, as the minority were targeted in one of the city’s most devastating  terrorist attacks the city had ever seen, leaving over 72 dead and around 300 injured.  For the Christian Minority in Lahore, Easter Sunday will never be remembered in the same way again. Instead it will be a traumatising day associated with loss and fear.

Suleman Nagdi from the Federation of Muslim Organisations (FMO) said: “Only a few hours after global Christian leaders such as the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury appealed for peace, we saw the blood of women and children spilled in a despicable act of cowardice in Lahore”.

photo credit: Pukaar News
Photo credit: Pukaar News

The Christian community are once again compelled to deal with loss and prepare for the mass burials of loved ones.  Mere condemnation is not enough and these outrageous attacks have gone too far. Previous attacks include; the burning down of the Christian Joseph Colony in Lahore March 2013, the September 2013 double suicide bombings at the All Saints Church in Peshawar and the community are only just recovering, one year on from the double church bomb attacks in Lahore which left 17 dead and 70 injured in March 2015.

Prayers and thoughts from all over the world has gone out to those who have been affected in the recent attacks Christian Solidarity Worldwide’s (CSW) Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas expresses his thoughts: “We are deeply saddened by the loss of lives including many women and children and our heartfelt prayers go out to the families who have been affected. We condemn this appalling attack against the Christian community which took place only one year after attacks on St John’s Church and Christ Church in Youhanabad. The Government of Pakistan can no longer ignore the threats to an already beleaguered Christian community. The government must deliver justice to the victims; hold to account the perpetrators of this deplorable crime and take decisive and immediate action to curb the extremism which has a stronghold on the country.”

Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who were affected in the Easter Sunday attacks, those in Brussels and to all minorities around the world being targeted, including those in Iraq and Syria, as we continue to ask; why is this happening?

By Jessica Challoner-Sterland