Why was Narendra Modi visiting Lahore
Pakistan : Many dead and injured in Taliban attacks on Christians
People had gathered for morning service and both churches were well filled when the suicide bombers set off their bombs. In a double attack on two churches only a few hundred meters apart in the east Pakistani city of Lahore, at least 15 people were killed on Sunday and almost 80 were injured. There were also children among the victims. A faction of the Taliban claimed responsibility for the bloodbath.
A Catholic and a Protestant church in the poor suburb of Youhana Abad, which with around one million Christians is the largest settlement of the religious minority in Pakistan, were affected. According to witnesses, the number of victims would have been even higher if two guards had not stopped the assassins at the entrance to protect those praying. The 25-year-old Qaisar and his colleague Yousuf paid with their lives for this. Indeed, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Jammatul Ahrar, a splinter group of the Taliban umbrella organization, claimed responsibility. "We have reached Lahore, the center of the Punjab Province," its spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told reporters over the phone.
Protesting Christians attack police officers
After the massacre, angry protests by Christians broke out in several cities, representing around 1.6 percent of the 182 million Pakistanis. A mob burned two suspects alive in Lahore. Three police officers were temporarily taken hostage. The police dispersed the crowd with water cannons and warning shots.
It is only the latest in a series of attacks on religious minorities in Pakistan. Hardcore Islamists with a Sunni-Wahabi character are terrorizing the country with increasing violence. The minorities do not feel sufficiently protected by the government. Not only Christians, Hindus and Sikhs are in constant danger. In particular, members of other Islamic currents such as Shiites and Ahmadis are repeatedly victims of attacks.
In autumn 2013, 85 people died when assassins attacked a church in Peshawar. Out of solidarity, 200 Muslims then formed a human chain around a church in Lahore to protect the praying Christians with their bodies during Sunday mass.
Rape of a nun in India
In neighboring India, too, the fear of the Christian minority is growing. A nun was raped in the state of West Bengal on Saturday. The 74-year-old had faced six burglars when they tried to rob a convent school. One of the men raped her. After an emergency operation, her life is out of danger.
Angry Christians held vigils and blocked train tracks. “She is an old lady and she is a nun. She consecrated her life to God and was a virgin all her life, ”said Father Dominic Emmanuel of the Catholic Archdiocese of Delhi in an interview. In India, particularly brutal rape cases are a constant source of horror, and religious minorities feel increasingly under pressure. A series of attacks on churches have recently occurred in Delhi. These were devastated, set on fire or robbed. It is unclear who is behind this.
Since the Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi and his party BJP won the elections in 2014, Hindu hardliners have seen themselves on the rise. Modi itself behaves ambiguously. On the one hand, he condemns the attacks and guarantees protection for religious minorities. On the other hand, he avoids the open conflict with the Hindu hardliners who make up the BJP's regular voters, but always bolder. In camps, for example, they try to convert thousands of Christians and Muslims to Hinduism.
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