03/17/2015, 00.00
PAKISTAN

Attacks in Lahore, Catholics and Protestants together for a day of fasting and prayer

by Jibran Khan
Religious leaders of both denominations invite all of society to participate and ask Christians to halt violent reactions. Priest of Lahore: "We must remain peaceful, to witness to Christ with our own lives." The families of the wounded complain of a lack of medical care in hospitals.

Lahore (AsiaNews) - The Catholic and Protestant communities of Pakistan are holding a day of fasting and prayer today for the victims of the Taliban attacks in Lahore. Religious leaders of both denominations have invited civil society as a whole to join the observance as a sign of solidarity, and to stop any violent reaction to the attacks of March 15, which killed 17 people and wounded more than 70. "Today - Msgr. Rufin Anthony, bishop of Islamabad / Rawalpindi tells AsiaNews - we kneel before the Almighty in fasting and prayer for peace, forgiveness, mercy, grace, patience and tolerance".

"We must be humble - Fr. John Nisar, the Diocese of Lahore tells AsiaNews - damaging public property is not the right way to make [our] protest. We are in Lent, a time for practicing forgiveness and sacrifice. We strongly condemn the Sunday attacks, we stand alongside the suffering families and also condemn the destruction of public property. We must remain peaceful and witness Christ with our own lives. "

On March 15, two militants of Jamaat-ul-Arhar, an offshoot of the Pakistani Taliban, blew themselves up outside the churches St. John (Catholic) and Christ Church (Protestant) in Youhanabad, a predominantly Christian neighborhood in Lahore (Punjab). The attacks have sparked the wrath of the Christian community, which reacted in a violent way.

The same day a crowd of people lynched and burned alive two other suspects. Yesterday all over the country there were several protests. In Karachi, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad and Multan protesters blocked main roads. A group of people blocked the Jati Umra Raiwind residence of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, demanding justice. The Prime Minister announced a detailed investigation into the Sunday attacks.

Meanwhile, the injured in hospitals complain about the lack of appropriate care and medicines. Their relatives claim that they are not receiving the necessary treatment for their injuries and have appealed to the authorities to intervene.

 

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