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ICC Note:

Following the deadly Easter bombing in Pakistan that targeted Christians, a priest whose relatives were killed in a terrorist attack on a church in Peshawar in 2013 has called on Pakistan’s Christians to combat persecution by praying for terrorists. Christians in Pakistan have fallen victim to more terrorist attacks in recent years, including a double church bombing in 2015 in a Christian majority neighborhood in Lahore. As Pakistan becomes more and more insecure for Christians, is this priest correct in saying that the answer to persecution and terrorism for Christians is prayer?

4/8/2016 Pakistan (Christian Daily) – A Pakistani priest whose family members perished in the 2013 Peshawar attack has urged Christians to pray for terrorists in the wake of the Easter suicide bombing in Lahore.

In an interview with Christian Today, after the Lahore attack, Rev. Fayaz Adman said hardline Islamists will continue to target Christians in Pakistan. However, the priest said they can fight the growing persecution in the country and other Islamic countries by praying for the terrorists being used for suicide attacks, such as the recent bombing in Lahore.

A Taliban offshoot has claimed responsibility for the Lahore suicide bombing, which left 72 people dead, including 29 children. More than 300 individuals were also injured in the incident. Although the attack targeted Christians celebrating Easter Sunday at a public park, police confirmed that majority of the fatalities were Muslims, according to Mirror.

Rev. Adman said not all Muslims are terrorists, but they could be manipulated into carrying out suicide attacks targeting Christians. He cites poverty and lack of education as the top reasons why people agree to become suicide bombers.

“There is poverty in Pakistan and because of low levels of education, those in positions of power pick out innocent people to use and abuse, turning them into suicide bombers,” said Adman. “When these controlling hands use these innocents, they pay a good amount to their family members. That is the key.”

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