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Candlelight vigil held for Christians killed in Quetta

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On May 5, Saturday a candlelight vigil was held for the Christians who fell prey to terrorism in Quetta. This vigil was organized by ARZ Foundation, in collaboration with several Christians. On this occasion, prayers were offered for Christians who were killed in Quetta. At the same time, prayers were offered for persecuted Pakistani Christians.

Attacks on Pakistani Christians

ARZ Foundation strongly condemned attacks on Christians in Quetta. In the month of April six Christians lost their lives in terror attacks. Incidents of persecution of Christians reported from Sialkot, Lahore, Karachi and Sahiwal were also condemned. Congregants offered prayers for the families of the victims.

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Those attending this vigil lit candles in the memory of the victims and expressed sympathies with their families. Addressing the assembly, Nafees Bhatti director of ARZ Foundation, Advocate Sooba Bhatti, Mrs. Rukhsana Sooba, Rashid Pervaiz, , Bashir Nawab, Munawer Rajput, Barkat Bernard and Mrs. Saleema termed these recent attacks on Pakistani Christians as an attempt to create hatred and discord on religious grounds.

All of them demanded that in the wake of attacks on Pakistani Christians government must ensure special security measures for churches and Christians. They said that in keeping with the orders issued by the Supreme Court back in 2014. The participants said the government must take steps to implement the apex court’s ruling regarding the religious minorities. They chanted slogans against terrorists; towards the end of the ceremony they appreciated the efforts of ARZ Foundation.

On April 15, Sunday when the worshipers from Seventh – day Adventist church were going back to their homes, unidentified gunmen on motorbikes opened fire at a group of Christian worshipers outside the church. A local police official told AFP that “Four men on two motorbikes opened indiscriminate fire, killing two people while injuring three others”. The deceased included Rahib Khalid and Azhar Iqbal who were rushed to the hospital but succumbed to their injuries.

Earlier on April 2, a day after Easter four Christians; all members of same family were gunned down by terrorists in Quetta’s Shah Zaman Road. The victims included a woman, died on the spot. Police confirmed that unidentified attackers were riding motorbikes, and opened indiscriminate fire on the four outside their house.