Christian community continued rallies and sit-ins across Punjab to vent off anger and resentment against the suicide attack on two churches in Youhana Abad, Lahore and demanded stringent measures to eliminate terrorists and their support from the country.  

As per details, in Faisalabad approximately 100 protesters gathered on Millat Road where they burnt tyres and attacked a rickshaw. The protesters also blocked Kamalpur Interchange on Faisalabad motorway.

The protesters then headed towards District Council Chowk where they continued their demonstration.

The protests have been taking place in various parts of Faisalabad since Sunday.

In Attock, the Christian community condemned the terrorist attacks on churches in Lahore and demanded an exemplary punishment for those involved in the inhumane act.

Pastor Bashir Lal Din, Pastor Javed Johnson, Pastor Hamid Raza, In-charge UP Church Attock Akram Javed Gill, Ayub Masih Matto, Saleem Shahzad and Shireen Aslam while addressing protesting Christian community at UP Church said that no religion allowed such terrorist activities and said that such culprits had no religion. They said that they wanted peace in Pakistan, however, peaceful protest was their right.

They said those who lost lives in suicide attacks in Lahore were martyrs and would be remembered till the remaining of the world. They said that terrorists would never be successful in their nefarious designs as the whole nation was united.

They said it was a matter of concern that sacred places of Muslims, Christians, Hindus and Sikhs were not safe and all the communities had performing religious rites under tight security. Later, a peaceful rally was taken out from the church.

In Khanewal, the Christian community continued peaceful protests on Monday in various cities of district. However, in some area the protesters turned to vandalism and assaulted passersby. It is to be noted that twin blasts outside Roman Catholic Church and Christ Church during Sunday mass in Youhanabad area of the provincial capital killed at least 15 people including two policemen and injured at least 70 others. All missionary schools remained close as prayer services and funerals for victims were underway. Main protest rally was taken out in Khanewal city from Saint Joseph Church which was led by f Father Emmanuel Shareef. Hundreds of protesters including women and children, carrying banners and placards marched on the road, demanding quick and stern action against the terrorists and their supporters.

While addressing the gathering Pastor Imdad, Pastor Maj Haroon , Shahzad Francis, David Qamar, Parvaiz Hameed, Israil Barkat, Ashraf Masihi Sajid and Ishaque Rehmat said that Christians had always played important roles in national development but terrorist were killing them without any let and hindrance. This is failure of the sitting government as well as the previous government,” they alleged, urging the Christian community to remain peaceful.

Meanwhile, Jamaat-e Islami Punjab Naib Ameer Ch Uzair Latif also condemned the terrorist attack on churches in Lahore. Addressing the protest rally of Christian community, he demanded the government to provide foolproof security to the minorities.

In Sangla Hill, scores of civil society activists flanked by the Christian community members condemned the twin suicide attacks outside two churches in Youhana Abad, Lahore.

The protesters demanded that the government should protect life and property of the minorities. They also demanded the government arrest the culprits involved in the attack and punish them sternly. They said the minorities had time and again been attacked in the past but neither solid steps could be undertaken by the government to protect them nor any action could be initiated to bring the attackers to the book.

Addressing the protesters, Nayer Dil Awaiz said that once again the state could failed to provide safety to its citizens and minorities continued to live in a state of constant tension and fear.

Delegation of NGOs including Awami Welfare Society President Mian Tariq Jameel, Athad Welfare Society President Zulafqar Ali Butt, Human Guides President Asif Ali Asi, and other social activists visited Presbetarian and Catholic churches to expressed solidarity with heirs of the deceased and the injured of the twin blasts. They strongly condemned the suicide blast outside Youhannabad churches.

Civil society Network Nankana Sahib Chairman Arman Idrees Chattha said, “I appeal to all citizens, especially the Christians to be united which was essential to show the terrorists that “we condemn their method of senseless violence.” He stressed that there was a need for peaceful protest to raise voices against all such inhumane acts.

In Burewala, the Christian community and civil society activists observed ‘Black Day’ on Monday to condemn the attacks on two churches. They took out a protest rally to register protest against the killing of innocent worshippers.

Approximately 100 protesters led by Marcus Barkat, Dr Aslam Parvez, Nazir Ahmad Randhawa and others took out a protest rally on College Road and reached in front of press club where they staged sit-in. Chanting slogans against the terrorists, they demanded the government to provide security to holy places of the minorities. The Christian leaders expressed solidarity with heirs of the deceased and the injured, saying that the government had completely failed to provide protection to citizens as envisaged under the constitution.

Heavy police contingent was deployed at local churches to avert any eventuality while the administration also appealed to the Christian community to remain peaceful.

In Gujranwala, Christian community staged protest demonstrations in different parts of the city to denounce the Youhana Abad, Lahore blasts incident. Scores of Christian community members also held rallies on GT Road, bring the vehicular traffic to halt for many hours. The protesters burnt tyres and chanted slogans against the government. Meanwhile, some protesters attacked a vehicle carrying pepsi cola bottles and looted also the stock.

In Sialkot, hundreds of Christians including women and children took out peaceful rallies in Sialkot, Daska, Sambrial, Pasrur, Badiana, Chawinda and surrounding areas during the light rainy weather to lodge protest against the suicidal attacks on churches in Youhanabad-Lahore.

The protesting Christians, wearing black armbands, were carrying banners and placards and chanted anti-terrorism slogans. They marched on all main and inter-city roads, demanding special security for Christians and their property across the country.

On this occasion, the minorities MPA Zulfiqar Ghauri urged the protesting Christian to remain peaceful and not to take law in their hands.

In Toba Tek Singh, rallies were brought out in different areas of the district to condemn the suicide attack on two churches in Lahore. The biggest rally was taken out in Gojra which was led by Faisalabad Bishop John Samuel, Christian leaders and human rights activists from Muslim community. The participants after marching through different roads, reached Civil Club Chowk where speakers alleged that the incident occurred due to failure of the government and delay in implementation of National Action Plan designed to root out terrorism from the country.

On the occasion, the protesters were addressed by Fr Yaqub and PML-N Minority Wing district president Rasheed Jalal.

Youhannabad tragedy victims laid to rest


Funeral proceedings of a Christian couple died in twin suicide blasts outside churches in Lahore were held in their native village 135/16-L (Stunzabad), tehsil Mian Channu here.

Bishop Leo Rodrick Paul and 15 other pastors of the Multan diocese led the funeral proceedings.

According to details, dead bodies of both the victims - man and his wife were brought to their native village 135/16L. Ubaid Sardar Charan and his wife Ambreen died in Christ Church Youhanabad, Lahore. Ambreen was a staff nurse in General hospital Lahore and her husband worked in private firm.

While addressing the gathering, Bishop Leo Rodrick Paul and other pastors urged the people to remain peaceful, emphasising that terrorists were the common enemy of the entire nation. They also demanded the government to take stern measures for the elimination of terrorism from the country.

Later, the couple was laid to rest in their native graveyard. Tight security arrangements were made by the district police to avert any unpleasant incident. AC Mian Channu Amjad Saleem Sargana and DSP Malik Tahir Majeed were also present on the occasion.