U.S. Bishop Assails Anti-Christian Attacks in Pakistan

In Letter to Ambassador in Washington

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WASHINGTON, D.C., NOV. 22, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Mob attacks against Christian sites in Pakistan appear to be «an organized act of terrorism,» says a U.S. bishop who called for a probe into the events.

In a Nov. 17 letter to the Pakistani ambassador to the United States, Bishop Thomas Wenski, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ International Policy Committee, said: «The government should take affirmative steps to educate the people about tolerance and peace, remove religious biases in teaching materials, and repeal discriminatory laws.»

Three churches — one Catholic, one Presbyterian and one of the Salvation Army — in the town of Sangla Hills were attacked and burned on Nov. 12, according to Bishop Wenski. Also attacked were a religious women’s convent, a girls hostel, a Catholic school, and a pastor’s house, the prelate said.

«The all too convenient excuse of an alleged desecration of the Holy Quran by one individual, even if such occurred, which seems doubtful, could never justify such wanton acts against innocent people,» the Orlando, Florida, bishop said.

He added: «It is especially distressing at this time when much of the country is still reeling from the October 8th tragic earthquake and when so many in the Christian community in Pakistan, including our own Catholic Relief Services, are working with dedication to bring relief to the survivors.»

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