Pakistani Christians have gathered for prayer vigils and demonstrations against last Sunday’s suicide bombing at the Anglican Church of All Saints that killed 82 people. A splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack which occurred toward the end of service.
According to Fides News Agency, public processions took place in several major Pakistani cities, including Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi and Peshawar. Despite calls for no retaliations by the Pakistani Bishops Conference after the attack, several fights broke out between Christians and Muslim outside a mosque, claiming the life of one man.
Fides also reported that more than 600 protestors blocked a main road in Islamabad for several hours while over 2,000 people protested the act of violence outside of Parliament.
In Peshawar, where the attacks took place, an estimated 200 protesters blocked a main road in the city, while 100 faithful gathered in front of All Saints Church, “calling for justice and protection.” The local government announced three days of mourning for the victims of the attack while Christian businesses and educational institutions closed in solidarity with the victims.
An ecumenical prayer vigil was also held in southern Pakistan which was presided by Anglican Bishop Kaleem John and Catholic Bishop Maxi Rodrigues. Also present at the vigil, which was held in St. Thomas Cathedral in Hyderabad, were several Muslim representatives “who expressed sympathy and solidarity with Christians.