Attacks on Christians in India and Pakistan Are Protested

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, JAN. 1, 2003 ( Leaders of the All India Christian Council protested against the Christmas Eve attacks on Christians and accused the authorities in India and Pakistan of not doing enough to protect Christian minorities against Hindu and Muslim extremists.

Joseph D’Souza and John Dayal, president and secretary-general, respectively, of the ecumenical organization, strongly protested against the violence that broke out in Punjab and West Bengal.

Three individuals wearing burkas threw explosive devices among the faithful who were crowded in the Presbyterian Church of Chuyyanwali, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) from Islamabad, in the Punjab region. The explosion killed three young women and wounded 15.

Pakistani authorities admitted that it was a terrorist attack against the Christian minority. The government vowed to protect the 3 million Christians living in this country of 147 million that is 97% Muslim. It pointed out that it impeded another attack against the Presbyterian Church of St. Thomas in the capital.

The All India Christian Council also reported an attack on a church in Maliapota, a city located 200 kilometers from Calcutta.