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    Taliban blows at Christianity: Lahore Church Attacks

    By

    March 18, 2015

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    Religion drives some to dedicate their lives to help the poor and needy while it drives others to exterminate as many “heretics” as they can.

    Religion has the capability to generate unselfish love in some people, and vicious, raw hatred in others.

    Which religion teaches us to kill? Which God asks us to disrespect other religions? Which human being can willingly accept to become a suicide bomber? This isn’t humanity. They aren’t humans!

    Yes, I am talking about the recent bombings at St. John’s Catholic Church and The Christ Church in Youhanabad, Lahore.

    What Happened?

    More than 70 people were hurt and around 15 killed in the explosions, which targeted worshippers attending Sunday mass at the churches in Youhanabad. The churches- one Catholic and other Protestant, where the bombings took place are located around half a kilometre away in the locality of Youhanabad which is home to more than 1,00,000 Christians. Christians make up around two percent of Pakistan’s mainly Muslim population of 180 million.

    Both the attacks were suicide blasts. Some unknown miscreants opened fire near one Church after which the blast occurred whereas a suicide bomber explode himself outside the second Church on being stopped at the gate.

    The Christian community in Pakistan has long been the target of attacks and hate crimes carried out by extremist elements.

    Violent protests erupted after the blasts, with a mob killing two men accused of involvement in the attacks.

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    The main door of the Church was destroyed in the blast.

     

    The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s Jamaatul Ahrar faction claimed their hand in the blasts and vowed to continue their campaign.

    Why Youhanabad?

    Youhanabad is the country’s biggest Christian locality, housing at least one million people.

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    The city of Lahore is generally considered peaceful compared to other areas of Pakistan but violence has been increasing after the government’s failed attempts to hold peace talks with the Taliban last year.

    The Christian community in Pakistan has long been the target of blasphemy cases besides attacks and hate crimes carried out by armed groups within the country.

    In 2013 a pair of suicide bombers blew themselves up outside a historic church in Peshawar, killing more than 80 people and wounding at least 140 others.

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    The crowd’s Reaction

    A large crowd gathered at the scene of the blasts, protesting about the lack of security. It also attacked two men it accused of involvement in the explosions, killing both of them by setting their bodies alight.

    Protesters carrying sticks also blocked Lahore’s Ferozepur Road.

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    The government of Pakistan has done nothing except the ex- gratia. But is that enough?

    Why has Pakistan turned into an easy target for all such activities? There has to be an answer and it certainly lies with the government.

     

    Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.

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