Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Monday 27 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Vincent de Paul
home iconNews
line break icon

Bombings Spark Wave of Christian Protest


UCAnews - published on 09/23/13 - updated on 06/08/17

Bombings spark wave of Christian protest in most fatal attack yet on Christians in Pakistan

At least 81 people were killed by two suicide bombers outside a historic church in Peshawar on Sunday, prompting countrywide protests by Christians who condemned authorities for failing to protect minorities.

The death toll was expected to rise as many of the 150 people injured from the blasts at All Saints Church were still in critical condition following one of the worst terrorist attacks in recent history in Pakistan.

“Two bombers exploded their suicide vests at All Saints Church right after parishioners walked out of the building following Sunday Mass,” Peshawar police chief Ali Babakhel told reporters.

A policeman who tried to grab one of the bombers was among the dead, he added, along with seven children.

SAMAA TV quoted police sources as saying that one of the suicide bombers was a woman in her early twenties. Police said that samples of her body parts were sent to a laboratory in Lahore for DNA tests.

Jundallah, a group linked to the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack saying it was in response to US drone strikes, the latest of which reportedly killed seven people in the tribal area of North Waziristan on Sunday.

“Until and unless the drone strikes are stopped, we will continue to strike wherever we find an opportunity against non-Muslims,” said Jundallah spokesman Ahmed Marwat.

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif strongly condemned the bomb blasts in Peshawar, expressing sorrow and shock over the loss of life.

“Terrorists have no religion and targeting innocent people is against the teachings of Islam and all religions,” he said.

Enraged Christians took to the streets in cities across the country to protest the attack, with many condemning both the government and the militants.

Peshawar Bishop Humphrey Peters blamed the new local government installed following by-elections last month as he expressed condolences to the families of the dead.

“[The government] has failed to provide security to minorities in the province,” he said.

In Lahore, protesters today called for the removal of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak for his failure to provide security at Churches despite Taliban threats.

“Khattak is an incompetent chief minister and should be dismissed from the top provincial position,” Human Liberation Commission of Pakistan chief Aslam Sahotra told

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has announced compensation of 500,000 rupees (US$4,750) for the victim’s families and three days of mourning in the state.

Lahore Bishop Irfan Jamil said all missionary schools would remain closed across the country during the period.

“We call on the government to ensure the perpetrators of this inhuman attack are brought to book,” he said. “The Church of Pakistan also appeals to the Christian community to show restraint while holding protests against this terrorist attack.”

Paul Jacon Bhatti, head of the All Pakistan Minority Alliance, an umbrella group representing religious minorities, called on Pakistanis to unite in the wake of the blasts.

“It is an act of terrorism which has been carried out on a weakened Pakistan. But I appeal to my Christian and Muslim brothers to maintain calm and thwart the militants’ bid to instigate sectarian riots,” he said. 

Originally pubished at UCAnews on 23 September 2013. Used with permission. All other rights reserved. 

Christians in the Middle EastPakistan
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
J-P Mauro
Chicago architect models Vatican City from 67,000 LEGO bricks
The Sinai Peninsula and the Dead Sea Rift
J-P Mauro
Experts now believe Sodom was destroyed by a meteor
Philip Kosloski
Why J.R.R. Tolkien loved to attend daily Mass
Bret Thoman, OFS
Exclusive photos: Meet Padre Pio and the place he lived
Giovanna Binci
He’s autistic, she has Down syndrome, and they’re wonderfully hap...
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady saved Padre Pio from a violent demonic attack
Cerith Gardiner
9 Padre Pio quotes for when you’re feeling scared or uncertain
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.