28 September 2015, The Tablet

Pakistan Christians told to expect Isis campaign of terror

An imminent attack on Christians should be expected in Pakistan, according to the country’s military.

The Pakistan Army has begun warning individual targets, churches and other Christian institutions that Isis is planning to begin hostilities in the country imminently.

"Whilst in one sense it is heartening that the Pakistani Army is at least giving warnings to church leaders, it should not blind us to the fact that this is in effect a tacit recognition of the utterly vulnerable state of Christians and Christian institutions in Pakistan,” Wilson Chowhdry, chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association said.

The planned attacks against Christian communities in Pakistan will be carried out by some splinter groups that formerly belonged to the Pakistani Taliban. These splinter groups have already forged an alliance with the more extremist and brutal Isis cells that have already entered Pakistan, according to research by the think-tank Gatestone Institute.

“Christian clerics have been warned not to venture far from their churches. One minister was told no longer to take his morning or evening walks. Other Christians have been warned not to agree to any outside meetings unless they know the party well," the research paper from the US geopolitical think tank revealed.

“Many of the conditions for genocide of Christians have long been in place in Pakistan,” Mr Chowhdry aded, “and earlier this year the government itself was inciting hatred against Christians, along with the media, in the aftermath of the double church suicide bombing [in Lahore].”

The warnings come a week after the Pakistan Army admitted that there are almost 1,200 trained Isis militants in 17 camps in the country waiting for instructions.

Christians protest in Peshawar after 80 people were killed outside churchesChristians protest in Peshawar in 2013 after 80 people were killed by two suicide bombs outside churches (PA)


In March, suicide bombers attacked two churches during morning services, killing at least 14 people and wounding more than 70 in Lahore. The Pakistani Taliban took credit for the atrocities.

“In the light of the worsening reality reflected in these warnings, our campaign for the Home Office to radically revise its absurd position that Christians in Pakistan are merely discriminated against, but not generally persecuted gains added urgency, and we call on the Home Office to revise its position immediately."

Christians make up about 1 per cent of the population and are concentrated in the Lahore region where last March’s atrocities occured. Many Christians in Pakistan are poorly educated and relegated to living in slums and working menial jobs.

In September 2013, more than 80 people were killed in a suicide bombing at a church in Peshawar just as Sunday services were ending.

You can sign the petition to help change the UK Home Office's current policy on the situation for Pakistani Christians by clicking here.



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