Jihadi attacks forcing out Quetta Christians
Christians are leaving the southern Pakistani city of Quetta following a wave of targeted attacks by jihadists.
Two Christians were killed and four seriously injured when gunmen on motorcycles opened fire on worshippers leaving a church service on 15 April 2018, while four Christians were killed in a drive-by shooting on Easter Monday (2 April 2018). In December 2017, a suicide bombing at Bethel Memorial Methodist Church left nine dead and over 50 injured. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for all three attacks.
One Christian, speaking on condition of anonymity, told journalists: “We have been living for centuries in Quetta but due to targeted killings of the Christian community, I have lost nine of my family members and friends. Many of our relatives shifted to Karachi and we will also leave Quetta due to the deteriorating security situation … Leaving [our] home town is quite tough but we have no other option.”
The pastor of Bethel Memorial Methodist Church told Barnabas Fund, “We are under threat of further attacks and the local police have provided us with some protection at the church. I have faith in Jesus Christ, with His angels to protect us. Some people are leaving, but He is with us and makes us brave in heart to stay in Quetta.”
From Barnabas Fund contacts
International Christian Concern
At Least Two Christians Killed in
Drive-By Shooting in Pakistan
|Pakistan’s Christians shocked and fearful after third attack
Azhar and Rahib were shot in broad daylight on the streets of Quetta city this week – the third extremist attack on local Christians in just four months.
Christians in southern Balochistan province are now living in fear as 15 believers have been murdered since mid-December. Islamic State (IS) says it carried out the attacks.
Please pray that God will comfort Azhar and Rahib’s families – and every other believer in Quetta.
Four gunmen on motorbikes shot Azhar, 26, and 16-year-old Rahib as they sat outside Azhar’s home opposite a church in the mainly Christian Isa Nagri area on Sunday evening. Three others were injured in the shooting, including two girls, aged 11 and 13.
Azhar’s father, Hakeem, says staff at the medical centre where Azhar was taken ‘didn’t know how to treat bullet wounds’ as there was no senior doctor present. Azhar later died. ‘The terrorists have not just killed Azhar, they have also killed me and his mother,’ says Hakeem.
The attack follows an incident in Quetta on Easter Monday when four members of a familywere shot dead. At least nine Christians were killed in a suicide attack on a Methodist church in the city just before Christmas.
(Source: Morning Star News)