New Delhi ( CBCI News): Christians in India’s national capital New Delhi held demonstration at Pakistan High Commission. Prayer meetings have been held in New Delhi and several other places in India Held as an expression of solidarity with the Christians in Pakistan which has suffered one of the worst attacks on the community in Peshawar last Sunday.
Christians of Delhi demonstrated at the Pakistan High commission, Tuesday, Sept 24, expressing their anguish at the massacre of Christians in the All Saints Church in Peshawar on Sunday.
A delegation met the Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner and submitted the memorandum [copy attached] calling on the government to identify the guilty and bring them to justice. The Pakistani government was urged to take proactive measures to ensure the security of all minorities in that country, and specially the miniscule Christian community. Also brought into focus was the infamous Blasphemy law that had made the targetting of Christians so very easy in the past.
The High commission was asked if they would permit a peace and solidarity delegation of Christians to go to Peshawar to be with the victims and their families as a gesture of solidarity in faith. The Deputy High commission said they would recommend this to the Islamabad government.
Later in the evening, people gathered in front of the Sacred Heart Cathedral in New Delhi in a solemn prayer meeting, holding candles and singing hymns. A large number of Muslims attended the meeting.
MEMORANDUM FROM THE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY OF DELHI
Mr. Nawaz Sharief
Hon’ble Prime Minister of Pakistan
c/o The Pakistan High Commissioner in India
It is with utmost shock and even deeper pain that we, representing the national Capital’s Christian community, and ourselves a minority in this country, as our brothers and sisters are in Pakistan, approach you to express our sentiments of deep shock, great sorrow and injury at the massacre at the All Saints Church in Peshawar.
We condemn in the most unequivocal terms this dastardly attack and demand of you urgent measures to ensure security for the minority communities, particularly the Christians, living in fear and despair in Pakistan. Security msut also be ensured for their Churches and institutions throughout the country so that such an incident does never take place again.
We are aware that Pakistan is witness to terrorist violence and that many innocent Muslim lives, particularly Shias, have been lost at the hands of various extremist and fundamentalist groups, we would like to ask as to what your duly elected government in Pakistan is doing to get rid of the menace of such groups. Eighty five killed Christians and more than 100 others injured is not a small number of people, and though they are Christian by faith, they are citizens of Pakistan, who have all the rights to exist there as other citizens of the country.
The Christian community has even otherwise been targeted by various groups, especially in the Punjab. Pakistan’s infamous Blasphemy laws make such targeting and such violence commonplace, though not in such magnitude as this attack.
We appreciate the fact that you have condemned the bombing of the church saying that terrorists have no religion. But our question to you and to the government is about what is being done to root out those who perpetrate such violence. Your government is aware of the groups responsible for this heinous anti-humanity violence. It is also duty bound to provide security to the people who are targeted by such groups.
Words of condemnation alone will not do. Firm action with a sense of urgency is called for. Despite protests and demands for the security of minorities both in Pakistan and in other parts of the world, no effective steps have been initiated to provide security to the vulnerable minority groups, especially the Christians. The government cannot allow the bloodshed of innocent people, especially the minorities, be they Hindu, Sikh, Christian or any other minority, to continue in this macabre fashion.
We also reiterate the universal demand that the draconian Blasphemy Law which is being constantly misused against the minorities, especially Christians, to settle petty land or personal disputes be repealed. We had observed with acute grief the killing of Mr. Shahbaz Bhatti, the only Christian minister in the former government. He was shot dead only because he was pressing for reform in Blasphemy Law.
As we pray for our slain brothers, sisters and children in Peshawar, we also pray for strength to your government so it can bring the guilty to book.
Reeling under pain
The Christian Community of Delhi