CLAAS issues initial report on Church attack in Peshawar
22 Sep 2013
It is regret to inform you that militants attacked All Saint’s Church (protestant church) Church of Pakistan in Peshawar this morning while believers were busy in worship during Sunday Service. There were two police man deputed by the government who sit on the main gate of the church as security in routine. For last many days there was a threat by the Militants/Taliban’s for attack on the targeted church. But there was not any increase of police force to secure Christians during service. Two constables were not enough to stop suicide attacker when he forcefully entered in to the church premises. Through sources we are informed that there were two bomb blasted in the church one after another. About 45 killings of women men and children we heard and several injuries, and immediately shifted to hospital for emergency treatment. According to the source about 150 children were there in Sunday school who are severely injured and many of them died. It is shocking that all previous attacks and incidents happened in the presence of police including this and this is the biggest attack in the last five years.
At 02:00 pm CLAAS team headed by Mr. Joseph Francis including Katherine Sapna, Rama Rasheed, SohailHabel, Asher Sarfraz, John Paul and Saleem Gabriel from Minority Movements in Pakistan reached at Lady Raiding Hospital (LRH) Peshawar at about 07:15 pm and visited injured and their family members, while some of them were shifted at Khyber Teaching Hospital (KTH) Peshawar because of insufficient doctors and beds. It is also observed that there was not sufficient medical facilities in these government hospitals. The victims are not treated well. They are severely injured and their bodies are burnt due to blast but there are not burn wards with air condition/cooling and they are suffering with burn and sever pain.
The other hand the dead bodies were buried at about 06:30 pm the same day without any proper funeral because of the government pressure on the church leaders. There were mostly children died in this attack and their parents severely injured. Parents were under treatment while the children’s dead bodies were buried by locals and the same as the children were in the hospitals under critical situation when the parent’s dead bodies were buried.
The locals were depressed by their church leadership, no one was there from religious leadership to give them courage, though there were many Christian organizations present to show solidarity and to assure them that they are not alone. The bishop of Peshawar Diocese church of Pakistan was present there in the hospital but he did not leaded the funerals with prayers even the pastor was frightened and he did not offered funeral of the martyrs.
CLAAS team visited all injured and helped them with the amount Rs.2000 rupees each for their expenses. They are getting free treatment in the hospitals but there were many other things like travel for one hospital to the other for which they need money. CLAAS team also met with the families for condolence who has lost their love one’s and showed sympathies and solidarity to be with them as a body of Jesus Christ.
CLAAS team is in Peshawar and has intended to stage a press conference at press club Peshawar on this severe inhuman act to Muslim militants against Christians. CLAAS team will visit victim families at their houses and also attacked church. Team will also meet bishops of Peshawar Diocese, Church Pakistan.