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     Home > Justice and Peace >  2013-10-26 16:21:33
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Christians still "insecure" and isolated a month after Peshawar massacre

October 26, 2013 - Despite promises by the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province in Pakistan, to provide greater protection to minorities and their places of worship following a deadly attack on a Church over a month ago, security is still fragile and critical. A September 22 attack by two suicide bombers near All Saints Church belonging to the Church of Pakistan in Peshawar, left 127 dead and 170 injured. Further investigations confirm "real threat" of attacks on churches still exists. Catholic Bishop Rufin Anthony of Islamabad-Rawalpindi told AsiaNews it is "sad" to see that in spite of repeated threats to churches "security measures are not yet satisfactory". Police claim the opposite but the prelate added "there is no visible trace of any improvement!" He urged the competent authorities to take the necessary measures to ensure that such incidents do not happen again. Fr. John Gill of Peshawar Diocese, an eye witness to the attacks said they have been repeatedly asking for help and protection to the churches, but so far have not seen any tangible result. With 97 percent its over 180 million population professing Islam, Pakistan is the second largest Muslim nation after Indonesia. Hindus are around 1.85 per cent; Christians are 1.6 per cent and Sikhs 0.04 per cent. Violence against ethnic or religious minorities is commonplace across the country, especially Christians a favorite target for Islamic fundamentalists who regard them as allies of the West. The nation’s controversial Blasphemy Laws, which punish with death or life imprisonment those who desecrate the name of Muhammad or profane the Koran, are often abused to target rivals and opponents, to settle personal scores. (Source: AsiaNews)


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