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ICC Note:

Following a deadly suicide bombing targeting Christians in Pakistan, Pope Francis condemned the violence and demanded that Pakistan take steps to protect its Christian minority. On Easter Sunday, a suicide bomber attacked a public park in Lahore Pakistan where Christians were celebrating the Easter holiday. Over 70 people were killed in the attack and over 300 more were wounded. An offshoot of the Pakistani Taliban has taken credit for the attack which it says intentionally targeted Christians. The group also went on to say that they would continue to perpetrate similar attacks. 

3/28/2016 Pakistan (Christian Post) – Pope Francis has demanded protection for Pakistani Christians as he condemned a suicide attack in Lahore that killed at least 70 on Easter Sunday.

The Holy Father addressed thousands in St Peter’s Square, Rome, on Monday as he branded the attack “vile and senseless”. He said Easter had been “bloodied by a hideous attack that massacred so many innocent people, mostly families of the Christian minority”.

A breakaway Taliban militant group that once declared loyalty to Islamic State claimed responsibility for the blast. In a statement after the attack Jamaat-ul-Ahrar said they had targeted Christians.

The pope was speaking from the window of the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace for his Regina Caeli address on Easter Monday.

“I appeal to civil authorities and all sectors of that nation to make every effort to restore security and serenity to the population, and in particular to the most vulnerable religious minorities,” he said.

“I repeat once again that violence and murderous hatred only lead to pain and destruction; respect and fraternity are the only path to achieving peace.”

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