CANTERBURY: Christians in Peshawar spoke of forgiveness just as they were urging for justice after the All Saints’ Church carnage.>
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby has eloquently point out to the reality that Christians in Peshawar spoke of forgiveness even as they were ‘crying out’ for justice after Sunday’s suicide bombings. He has further drawn attention to the actuality that mourning Christians in Peshawar were talking of forgiveness immediately after suicide bombers attacked All Saints Church on Sunday.
But, he added, “Christians in Peshawar are also ‘crying out vigorously’ for justice and protection following the worst attack on Christians in Pakistan’s history. The attack, which was launched as people were leaving Sunday Mass, killed 85 people and injured more than 120. “
While speaking on Radio 4’s World at One today, the Archbishop portrayed the bombings as ‘an absolutely appalling attack’ while strongly calling on Pakistan’s government, ”To make certain that minority citizens are given proper protection and that all people are treated equally under its law.”
The Archbishop added,” We have seen ‘more than 80 martyrs’ in Peshawar in the last few days.”
“They have been attacked because they were testifying to their faith in Jesus Christ by going to church. And that is outside any acceptable expression, in any circumstances for any reason, of religious difference,”he said.
“When you look at what Christians teach, we are deeply committed to justice – we pray for justice for the victims, justice to be established. But Jesus, at His crucifixion, prayed also for those who were ill treating him. And that has been the pattern of Christian witness throughout the centuries,” he went on to say.
“One of the things that we’ve calling on and we’ve all been saying and the Christians in Pakistan have been particularly saying is the Pakistan government has a duty to protect all its citizens, both the majority and minority and we do call on them to make sure that the minority citizens are properly protected,” he said.
“There is no doubt that Christian communities have been targeted,” said the Archbishop. “This is absolutely unacceptable. It is not acceptable to attack people because of their faith and to use religion as an excuse for violence is simply to take the complexity of social and historic issues and find a hook to hang them on,” he maintained.