Archbishop Sebastian Shaw, O.F.M. of Lahore (Pakistan) declared today as a “special day of prayer for the innocent lives of the martyrs.
Two suicide bombers attacked the Catholic Church of St. John and the Protestant Church of Christ in Youhanabad during Sunday services. The attack claimed the lives of 15 people and left over 80 wounded.
According to Fides, Archbishop Shaw announced that Catholic schools and institutes are closed to commemorate the innocent victims. He also stated that those who “gave their lives in the accident to save thousands of people” as “martyrs.”
“Their blood was not shed in vain and will bring peace to all citizens of Pakistan,” he stated.
The Archbishop of Lahore also called on government officials to commit to the protection of Pakistan Christians.
For his part, Archbishop Joseph Coutts of Karachi, president of the Episcopal Conference of Pakistan condemned the attacks, echoing Archbishop Shaw’s sentiments for greater protection.
“We beg the government in Punjab and the federal government of Pakistan to take adequate measures for the protection of churches and religious minorities in Pakistan,” he wrote.
Archbishop Coutts also called on the faithful to not react with violence and to cooperate with police during their investigation.
“Believers of all religions must promote peace and social harmony and protect each other from terrorism. The Catholic Church and other religious minorities in Pakistan are asking the government to take effective measures to guarantee freedom of religion in the country,” he concluded.