Christmas pageant rehearsal bombed in Pakistan

Fourteen people were killed and scores injured in a bomb blast last week in Quetta

Fourteen people were killed and scores injured in a bomb blast last week at a church in Pakistan.

The 17 Dec 2017 attack on Bethel Memorial Church in Quetta took place as the congregation’s children were rehearsing for the church’s Christmas pageant. Nine people were killed by the blast and five more have subsequently died from their wounds. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa said in a statement the attack was “an attempt to cloud Christmas celebrations and create religious cleavages,” wire service reports stated.

He praised the “effective response by security forces to the attack”, adding the country has to stay “united and steadfast to respond against such heinous attempts”.

The Rt. Rev. Sadiq Daniel, Bishop of Karachi, presided at a funeral service for nine of the victims on 18 Dec 2017. He told the Fides News Service: “”We are all in the same boat, terrorists are targeting everyone, they are attacking mosques, schools, universities, hospitals, armed forces, they want to destabilize Pakistan, they have their own political agenda. We, as followers of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, are opting for peace and we will work to maintain serenity and coexistence”.

He told the 1500 mourners at the service “Once again we are being put to the test. Let us avoid protests, press conferences and other initiatives. This is our country, we are Pakistanis and we have shown through our actions that we love our country”.

The Church of Pakistan will “continue to work for peace and harmony” he told Fides, adding:. “Our God, Emmanuel, the God-with-us who we celebrate at Christmas, is beside us and will console us, he takes care of us, he is fair and will do justice for his people”.

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