Anniversary of Bombing of All Saints Church

Friday, September 26, 2014

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

ISLAMABAD (Worthy News)-- On Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013, two suicide bombers from the Pakistani Taliban detonated their explosives just outside the gates of All Saints Church in the Christian community of Peshawar just as service ended; over one hundred Christians were killed and hundreds more severely wounded.

"For the entire world, a year has passed, but for me it feels like it just happened," Fahmeda, a widow of a Christian killed in the bombing, told International Christian Concern. "I still remember and will never forget the smoke, the cries, the blood and the loss of my husband."

An affiliate of the Pakistani Taliban, the Jundallah group, claimed credit for the bombing that they called a "protest" to U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan. The group's leader, Ahmad Marwat, promised more attacks until the drone strikes ended.

In response, Pakistan's Supreme Court ruled that the government was obligated to help protect minority places of worship, but to date that hasn't happened.

"The government is not in the least bothered about religious minorities," Gulshan Bhatti, a member of the Awami National Party, told ICC. "Christians are still living under fear and feel threatened. Children do not like going to church, or any other gatherings due to fear. The Christians of Peshawar were even too afraid to celebrate Christmas and Easter this past year."

ICC's Regional Manager for South Asia, William Stark, said: "Despite Pakistan's government's rhetoric regarding the protection of religious minorities and their places of worship, little has actually been done to protect Christians and their churches. A year has passed since an entire Christian community was shattered by the extremism and intolerance that has been escalating in Pakistan for many years. More must be done by the government and international community to secure this and other highly persecuted communities in Pakistan."