ASIA/PAKISTAN - Attacks on churches in Lahore: still no guilty

Wednesday, 16 March 2016 martyrs   persecutions   islam   terrorism   local churches   justice  

Paolo Affatato

Lahore (Agenzia Fides) - At what stage are the investigations into the attacks that a year ago marred two Christian churches in Lahore? On the first anniversary of the explosion in front of the Catholic church of St. John and Christ's Church (Anglican), which took place on March 15, 2015 in Youhanabad, Lahore district, civil society organizations and Churches in Pakistan are asking the authorities to do justice on the massacre that caused about 21 victims and 80 injured.
In a note sent to Fides, the NGO "Christian Solidarity Worldwide" (CSW) notes that "while the government in Punjab arrested nearly 100 young Christians suspected of lynching following the attacks" - two alleged accomplices of the terrorists were killed by the crowd – but there was not the same preassure in pursuing the organizers of the attacks. "The police carried out raids in Youhanabad illegally detaining many innocent" say CSW, but on the first anniversary of the attacks on churches "no one has yet been held to account for this crime".
The attacks in Lahore have once again raised the issue of security of churches and Christian institutions in the country. "Religious minorities in Pakistan – say CSW - face widespread social and institutional discrimination, as well as threats and violence, fueled by religious hatred spread by influential leaders who openly incite violence against non-Muslim minorities. This situation is aggravated by impunity".
Civil society urges the government to implement the recommendations contained in a ruling by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in 2014, asking to set up a special task force for minorities, to take measures to curb hate speech and to develop appropriate study programs that promote religious and social tolerance. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 16/03/2016)