A Pakistani priest was killed and a second badly injured in a terror attack today in Peshawar. On 30 January 2022 the moderator of the Church of Pakistan, the Rt. Rev. Azad Marshall condemned “the firing on clergy of Diocese of Peshawar and instant killing of Pastor William Siraj and injuring Rev Patrick Naeem earlier today. We demand justice and protection of Christians from the Government of Pakistan.”
Wire service reports state that two gunmen riding a motorcycle pulled alongside the priest’s car driving on Peshawar’s ring road. After opening fire, the gunmen sped away leaving Fr. Siraj dead, and Fr. Naeem gravely wounded. Fr. Naeem is currently being treated in the city’s Lady Reading Hospital.
Writing on Twitter, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby wrote he joined “Bishop Azad in condemning this abhorrent act, and I pray for justice and safety for the Christian community in Pakistan. Please pray for the family of Pastor William Siraj, all who mourn him, and for Rev Patrick Naeem.”
Christians have repeatedly been targeted for murder and persecution by Islamist terrorists in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province (formely known as the North West Frontier Province) along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan. Foreign pressure to protect the rights of Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan has so far accomplished little.