Over 10,000 Catholic and Protestant faithful took part in an ecumenical funeral celebration for the victims of Sunday’s terror attacks in Lahore.
Fourteen people were killed and over 70 wounded when two suicide bombers carried out an attack on the Catholic Church of St. John and the Protestant Christ Church, in Youhanabad, a Christian suburb on the outskirts of the city.
A Taliban splinter group claimed responsibility for the deadly bombings.
Archbishop Sebastian Shaw of Lahore addressed the faithful, calling on them to not give into anger.
“We do not need and do not want a civil war. We Christians are people of peace. Do not let the pain cloud our eyes. What future do we want to build for Pakistan? A future of harmony and reconciliation,” he said.
The ecumenical celebration was “celebrated as a sign of profound communion. Also present were representatives of civil authorities as well as Muslim leaders who were present as a sign of solidarity with Christians.
In an interview with Fides News Agency, Archbishop Shaw stressed that violence “is not the right path” and highlighted the importance of being people of peace despite the tragic circumstances facing Christians in Pakistan.
“Christians today want peace and security. As Pakistani citizens, we ask the government security and protection, in order to live in harmony and to help build a just, peaceful and fraternal nation.”