Christian persecution is still on the rise as revealed by Open Doors. Police are on the run to find and arrest gunmen who have killed a Christian priest and harmed another in Pakistan.
Pakistan is an Asian country hosting about 220 million people who are predominantly Muslims. There have been several recorded attacks on Christians and other minority groups. Christians make up only 2% and barely get their peace to worship God.
Christian persecution has become a serious problem in many provinces in the county.
Reports coming from the local police say a gun attack has resulted in the death of one priest and wounding another while driving home from Sunday Church service at the northwestern city of Peshawar — Pakistan.
The reports gave further details on the incident. The father who has met his untimely death is Father William Siraj, 75 years of age. These gunmen shot him multiple times and killed him at a spot.
The other father, Naeem Patrick, survived the ambush attack. He had a gunshot wound to the hand. Naeem is under medical treatment at the hospital.
There was a third Christian priest in the car. Reports from officer Iqbal Shah indicate that he sustained no injuries. This gruesome incident happened in the neighborhood of Gulbahar neighborhood in Pakistan.
There have been several attacks like this on Christians and it never seems to end. So far, no one has been found guilty of the incident. And no person or group has also claimed responsibility for such an inhuman act.
Recent records of death have been known to come from Islamic militants. As far back as 2013 where there was an attack that killed a lot of people (about 80).
News coming from VOA says Christian leaders condemned the attack by saying:
“We demand justice and protection of Christians from the Government of Pakistan,” tweeted educator and Bishop Azad Marshall, from the Church of Pakistan.
On Monday at Peshawar’s All Saint’s Church, a memorial service would be held for Father Siraj.
Chief Minister Mahmood Shah of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province has charged the police to investigate the incident and bring the culprits to justice when found.
CCTV footage of the incident is being traced to arrest the assailants who run off on a motorcycle. So there is hope of finding their whereabouts.
A memorial service for Father Siraj will be held on Monday at Peshawar’s All Saint’s Church, which was brutally attacked by militants with bombs and gunfire in 2013. Over 70 worshippers were killed and 100 wounded
The residents, the church and the government have condemned the act. One Bishop called Bishop Humphrey Peters has also shown his displeasure by condemning the killing, saying it aimed to harm interfaith harmony.
One Bishop has condemned the act on his Twitter page. Below is a screenshot:
These kinds of attacks bring fear and panic on minority groups and fuels divisions. Peace has become a foreign word to these militant groups. Another attack happened in the southwestern Baluchistan province, wounding 16 passersby on Sunday.
It’s becoming a disheartening situation for Christians in Pakistan to exercise their religious freedom.