Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Pakistan: Hundreds attend funerals of 2 Christians shot dead in Quetta after church on Sunday


Two girls and one adult remain in hospital following the gun attack. A protest took place on Monday in which Christians in the area demanded better protection from the authorities. 

Times of Ahmad | News Watch | Int'l Desk
Source/Credit: Christian Today
By Web Desk | April 18, 2018

Hundreds of Christians in Quetta, Pakistan have attended the funerals of two of their number who were killed near a church on Sunday by four gunmen on motorcycles.

The victims were Azhar Masih and Rohail Masih, who were residents of Essa Nagri which houses a large proportion of the Christian community there.

The murders have been claimed by Islamic State.

A Christian who attended the funerals named as N Samuel told Evangelical Focus: 'The whole Christian community attended this funeral, they are so afraid and feeling insecure.' The Christians in the city, he said, 'demand the government to protect churches and Christian community houses'. He added that one of those who died was the only son in his family and had taken care of his paralysed father.

The national commission for justice and peace of Pakistan said in a statement: 'The Christian community in Quetta has yet again become a target of rising intolerance and violence in society' and condemned 'these acts of terrorism and violence'.

According to International Christian Concern, two girls and one adult remain in hospital following the gun attack. A protest took place on Monday in which Christians in the area demanded better protection from the authorities.

Pakistan has long been battling armed groups, including the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Attacks often target Pakistan's minorities, including Shia Muslims as well as Christians, Hindus and members of the Ahmadiyya sect.

Earlier this month, four members of a Christian family travelling in a rickshaw were killed in a shooting incident on Quetta's Shah Zaman road. The Christian family came from the Punjab Province and had come to Quetta to visit relatives.

In December last year, nine people were killed and 30 injured in a suicide attack on the Bethel Memorial Methodist Church where some 400 worshippers had gathered on Quetta's Zarghoon Road.

Pakistan is ranked fifth on Open Doors' 2018 World Watch List of the countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.


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