|Some strict Muslims love to murder Christians for Allah|
By SAEED SHAH and QASIM NAUMAN
LAHORE, Pakistan—Sakhawat Ali was standing next to a carousel at a park’s fairground, where his son was spinning around in one of the cars. Then a bomb went off next to it, killing at least 72 people, including 17 children, and wounding more than 300. A suicide bomber had slipped in among the throng at Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park in Lahore, where many from the city’s sizable Christian community had ventured out with their families to mark Easter Sunday.
A faction of the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility, saying it had targeted Christians enjoying the holiday....
The blast on Sunday was one of Pakistan’s deadliest since it began to face an Islamist insurgency in 2007 and the latest in a series of attacks that have targeted Christians. The same Pakistani Taliban faction that claimed Sunday’s attack last year bombed two churches in a largely Christian area of the city, killing at least 13. And at least 70 people were killed in the northwestern city of Peshawar in 2013 when a suicide bomber struck a church.
Mobs and vigilantes in Muslim-majority Pakistan have also targeted the Christian community, which makes up around 2% of the population, often after accusing a Christian of blasphemy. Local blasphemy laws carry a maximum penalty of death. Human-rights campaigners say the laws are often misused to settle personal scores, against both Muslims and non-Muslims. In 2014, a poor Christian couple who made bricks for a living were accused of blasphemy and lynched by a mob that then burned their bodies in a brick kiln.
Many mainstream Muslims have championed Mumtaz Qadri, a former police officer who shot a prominent politician in 2011 for challenging blasphemy laws and was executed in February. On Sunday and Monday, thousands of supporters of Mr. Qadri converged on Islamabad to demand stricter implementation of blasphemy laws....
A Pakistani Christian human-rights group, the National Commission for Justice and Peace, confirmed that 24 of those killed were Christians. But the director, Cecil Shane Chaudhry, said he expected that number to rise as the group verified more victims’ religions.
Jinnah Hospital, close to the park, was overwhelmed by the number of casualties, with even doctors breaking down in tears at the injuries they saw, medical staff said. Among the injured were a 4-year-old boy who was burned and his 5-year-old sister, whose parents died in the blast.
The fairground had turned into a scene of horror.
“I saw bodies lying all around, many were burned, some were missing limbs, others eyes,” said Syed Qaiser Ali, 74 years old, who lives near the park and had rushed to the site. “Wounded women were crying out for someone to find their missing children.”
On Monday at the church of the Assemblies of God, a Pentecostal denomination that originated in the U.S., a family was burying Haroon Nazir, a 30-year-old nurse who had gone with his extended family to the park....
“We had gone there to celebrate Easter, to have a good time,” Shahzad Nazir said. “My mother usually doesn’t allow us to go out much, I don’t know how she agreed yesterday. She came along too. [Haroon] died in her arms. We were trying to stop the bleeding, but it wouldn’t stop.”
Munawar John, a friend of Mr. Nazir’s who attended the funeral, said there was no doubt things are getting worse for Christians in Pakistan.
“No Christian is safe here,” he said. “Every time I go outside, death is close by. It follows me around when I go to church, or anywhere else. But I have God on my side, he protects us.” read full WSJ post HERE
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