Charsadda massacre: Catholics hold a National day of prayer
by Jibran Khan

Anglicans and Pentecostals also took part in the initiative. From Rawalpindi to Mardan, hundreds of people prayed for the victims of the Bacha Khan University attack, calling for peace and tolerance in the country. For Muslim leader, "This is a great gesture by the Church,” adding “We will work together for peace” and promote “peaceful coexistence."

Rawalpindi (AsiaNews) - The Catholic Church in Pakistan held a national day of prayer to remember the victims of terrorism and to pray for peace in Pakistan.

On the Church’s initiative, prayer vigils were held yesterday in many cities across the country, following the massacre at the university in Charsadda, where armed men attacked students and teachers, killing 21 people and wounding 30 on January 20. The Anglican Church and Pentecostal communities joined the initiative.

This comes a few days after civil society groups organized vigils, the National Commission for Justice and Peace issued a message and some NGOs held a rally to urge the government to provide more education to youth and take immediate action against terrorists.

Ecumenical prayer meetings and torchlight processions were held in Rawalpindi, Faisalabad (Punjab), and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, where Charsadda is located.

"We have suffered a lot from terrorism and we pray for peace and tolerance in the society,” said Fr. Arshed Gill, who serves in Mardan Diocese (30 km east from Charsadda). “Everyone here wants peace. We will unite and promote harmony. "

Muslims in Rawalpindi welcomed the Catholic initiative as well. “This is a great gesture on behalf of the Catholic Church,” said Maulana Arif Alvi, of the Madni mosque. “It is an encouraging initiative by the Church. We stand united and will work together for peace. We will  to promote tolerance and coexistence."