ASIA/PAKISTAN - Anglican Bishop: "Christians are being put to the test, the God-with-us will console us"

Tuesday, 19 December 2017 dialogue   ecumenicalism   violence   terrorism   christmas   evangelization   civil society   peace  


Quetta (Agenzia Fides) - The greatest good to protect in the country is peace. This is what Methodist Bishop Sadiq Daniel, at the head of the Protestant community in the provinces of Sindh and Beluchistan stated in the aftermath of the massacre in the church of Quetta. On December 18 the funeral of the victims in the Christian cemetery of Quetta was celebrated. Speaking to Fides, the Bishop notes: "We are all in the same boat, terrorists are targeting everyone, they are attacking mosques, schools, universities, hospitals, armed forces, they want to destabilize Pakistan, they have their own political agenda. We, as followers of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, are opting for peace and we will work to maintain serenity and coexistence".
"Now – he remarks - it is time to pray for the victims and for the families, who are in mourning", he said, addressing the more than 1,500 faithful who attended the funeral. "Once again we are being put to the test. Let us avoid protests, press conferences and other initiatives. This is our country, we are Pakistanis and we have shown through our actions that we love our country". We continue to work for peace and harmony". "Our God, Emmanuel, the God-with-us who we celebrate at Christmas, is beside us and will console us, he takes care of us, he is fair and will do justice for his people", he adds to Fides.
As reported to Fides, the Bishop, who today celebrates the funeral of other victims, will visit every single family to comfort them and make them feel his closeness during this moment of pain. "Listening to their painful stories will be a difficult moment", he notes.
Zafar Iqbal, diocesan secretary of the Anglican Church, tells Fides: "The Anglican Church is grateful to the police officers and the armed forces for their rapid intervention which managed to stop the suicide bomber who wanted to enter the church building in good time; otherwise the consequences would have been much worse". One of the wounded told Fides his tragic experience: "The Pastor was about to begin the Holy Communion when we heard the sound of gunfire and explosions, and some men quickly closed the doors of the building. My wife and some people rushed to look for their children, but after a few minutes a suicide bomber blew himself up. It got all dark inside the Church due to the massive amount of smoke and after a few minutes I noticed that my wife was lifeless". (AG) (Agenzia Fides, 19/12/2017)







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