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04/16/2019 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – Retired Brigadier Samson Simon Sharaf along with other members of the Veterans of Pakistan (VOP) organization are working with churches across Pakistan to provide security for the upcoming Easter holiday. In the past, terrorist groups have targeted Christian places of worship during major Christian holidays in an effort to maximize the terror they spread.

Speaking to La Croix International, Sharaf said, “Christians are a bigger target for terrorists. We are paying a high price to fight them.

According to Sharaf, he and the VOP launched their initiative to protect churches after the bombing of All Saints Church in Peshawar in 2013. As a result of that bombing, over 100 Christians were killed and 140 others were wounded. The attack still stands as the deadliest single attack on Pakistan Christian community.

Unfortunately, the bombing of All Saints Church was only the beginning of a trend of attacks on Christians and their places of worship by terrorists. In 2015, two churches in the Youhanabad neighborhood of Lahore were attacked by suicide bombers in the weeks leading up to Easter. The next year, in 2016, a suicide bomber attacked Christians celebrating Easter in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park. In 2017, two suicide bombers attacked Bethel Memorial Methodist Church in Quetta in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

Sharaf and the VOP’s goal is to work with local police and security personnel to provide Pakistan’s Christians with a safe and secure Easter holiday. Hopefully Easter 2019 will be a peaceful and safe holiday for Pakistan’s Christians.

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected].