Human rights activists, churches, faith groups and many others have expressed revulsion and dismay at murderous attacks on Pakistani Christians
World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary, the Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, spoke of his “heart-felt sorrow” at the heavy loss of life from the bombings at the All Saints Church in Peshawar.
At least 80 have died, with many injured, in events which have sent further shockwaves throughout the embattled community.
The world churches' chief identified the bombing as being responsible for the “single worst loss of life among Christians in Pakistan”.
Churches and Christian groupings in the country and beyond, including Pakistanis in Britain, have also been protesting about lack of action by the government of Pakistan to protect minorities from violent extremists.
On Sunday, 22 September 2013, large number of worshippers were killed at All Saints Church, as a result of suicide bomb attacks.
Dr Tveit said that this is a “deliberate targeting of a vulnerable Christian community”.
“It has deeply saddened us to receive the news of this terrible attack,” he added.
In his message, Dr Tveit expressed sympathies for the bereaved, offering prayers for the injured and those who have lost their lives in the attack.
Speaking on churches’ efforts for protection of minorities, Dr Tveit mentioned a recent WCC consultation on “politicization of religion and rights of religious minorities”, where a Pakistani speaker shared about the on-going difficulties of the Christian community.
Affirming the WCC’s commitment to work for the wellbeing of the Christian community in Pakistan, Dr Tveit called for an “end to the wanton violence”.
He asked the “government of Pakistan to protect all of its citizens from those who are bent on dividing the country and causing suffering to the innocent.”