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News Code: 763


Pakistan Muslims Protect Churches

Muslims linked their arms to from a symbolic human shield around the church to express their “defiance to the extremist forces and solidarity with the minorities,” the Express Tribune reported on Sunday, October 6. 

Marking the ‘National Day of Prayer and Resistance’ worshippers at St Anthony’s Church have held prayers on Sunday for the victims, who passed away in the twin suicide blasts in Peshawar, under the protection of Pakistani Muslims. 

Organized by 'Pakistan for All', was attended by scores of civil society members, religious scholars, politicians, artists and academics who stood cautious during the prayers in solidarity with Christian community. 

Last September, a pair of suicide bombings in the northwestern city of Peshawar killed over 80 and injured nearly 130 people in a packed Church when Christians were performing Sunday's service. 

Pakistani Muslim scholars have condemned the attacks, terming it against the teachings of Islam, Qur'an and Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). 

A banned group called Jundullah has claimed responsibility for the attacks and its spokesman, Ahmed Marwat, said the attacks were in revenge for the US drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal regions. 

He warned that attacks on non-Muslims will continue unless the US stopped drone attacks. 

The parliament has also expressed solidarity with the Christian community and sympathized with the bereaved families and prayed for early recovery of the injured. 

In 2011, Pakistani-born scholar Sheikh Tahir ul-Qadri issued a fatwa condemning suicide bombings as a brazen violation of the peaceful Islamic tenets. 

Christians make up around 3 percent of Pakistan's 180 million people, with the majority of them residing in Punjab, the country’s most populous and richest province. 

A majority of Christians belong to the low-income bracket and settle in Punjab, the country’s largest province, and the southern port city of Karachi.

Source: On Islam