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ICC Note:

The bombing of a Methodist Church in Quetta, Pakistan was not the first time Christians in Pakistan have faced extreme violence at the hands of religious extremists. Unfortunately, the attack that killed at least 9 and injured more than 30 also doesn’t even come close to the deadliest attack on Christians in recent history. Still the pattern of attack that emerges is that Pakistan’s security forces are not doing enough to secure the Christian minority, especially during holiday times. In 2015 and 2016, Christians were bombed while celebrating Easter. Now, they have been bombed while celebrating Christmas. When will Pakistan take the treat to the Christian minority community seriously? 

12/18/2017 Pakistan (Pakistan Today) – Pakistan bathed in blood once again when terrorists on Sunday stormed Quetta’s Bethel Memorial Methodist Church killing at least nine people and injuring 30 in a suicide attack.

But this was not the first time when violence struck the worship places of minority Christians, who constitute about 1.6 per cent of the total population of the country.

On September 22, 2013, All Saints Church in Peshawar was hit by twin explosions, killing 80 people and wounding over 100 others, as the suicide bombers detonated vests made up of 6kgs of explosive material. The victims of the blasts included women and children.

The first attack happened when services had finished and people were leaving the church. The suicide bomber tried to attack the people, but when he was stopped by the police, he detonated the bomb. The second blast was carried out inside the church.

The responsibility of the attack was not claimed by any terror group in the country.

Enraged by losing their loved ones, the victims of the twin blasts took to streets to protest the lapse of security which resulted in the tragedy, with multiple demonstrations carried out by Christian communities in major cities of the country including Karachi and Lahore.

Another unfortunate incident took place in Lahore on March 15, 2015, when militants belonging to Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP) Jamaat-ul-Ahrar faction bombed two churches in Lahore’s Youhanabad neighborhood, killing 15 people and injuring more than 70. Two policemen guarding the church were also amongst the deceased.

The incident sparked violence as the angry mob lynched two people, setting one on fire, suspected of being associates of the perpetrators of the deadly attacks. Later on, they took to streets and clashed with the police, and also attacked city’s Metro bus station.

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