A vigil for the martyrs of Paris, Lahore and Brussels attacks held at the European Parliament

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A peaceful vigil was held commemorating the martyrs of the Brussels, Paris and Lahore attacks. The vigil was held outside the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. The participants paid tribute to the victims of terror strikes in Paris, Brussels and Lahore. This vigil was attended by Pakistani Christians residing in various European countries attended this vigil.

Pakistani Christian gather outside the European Parliament

At this occasion, President of International Christian Council (ICC), Qamar Shams advocate briefed the European Parliament members about the plight of Pakistani Christians and handed over a petition on behalf of the Pakistani community residing across Europe. The attendees, paid tribute and to the those who had lost their lives in the heinous terror strikes in the Paris, Brussels and Lahore.

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This vigil was marked by an impressive gathering of Pakistani Christians, who staged a demonstration calling attention of the members of the European Parliament towards the plight of the Christians in Pakistan who undergo persecution in various forms including abduction, forced conversions, forced marriages, misuse of blasphemy laws, religious discrimination, extremism etc.

The attendees also highlighted the quandary of Pakistani Christian asylum seekers in Thailand, who are detained in inhumane conditions by the Thai authorities. They heaped condemnation on the UNHCR’ ignorance towards the tattered Pakistani Christians seeking asylum in Thailand. Members of the European Parliament were also urged to take note of the increasing persecution of Christians across the globe; in the forms of extremism or terrorism.

On November 13, 2015, terrorist attacked Paris, as gunmen and suicide bombers hit a concert hall, a major stadium, restaurants and bars, almost simultaneously. These strikes left 130 people dead and hundreds wounded.

On March 22, 2016, heinous attacks at Brussels airport and a metro station in the city killed 32 people from around the world. Dozens were injured in the attacks, while three bombers also died. Twin blasts struck the main terminal of Zaventem international airport, while another explosion hit the Maelbeek metro station in the city center.

On March 27, 2016, Easter Sunday, terrorist struck the heavily crowded Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, in Lahore. The terror outfit which claimed responsibility of the attack stated that “Christians were the target.” This attack left more than 80 dead, while dozens injured. The casualties included a large number of women and children also.