Pakistan (MNN) — Unknown assailants shot and killed a Christian priest in Pakistan’s city of Peshawar. Seventy-five-year-old Father William Siraj was driving home after Sunday mass. One other priest in the car suffered injuries, while a third was unharmed.
The police deployed additional personnel to protect the funeral, which was held in Peshawar’s All Saints Church on Monday. Over 3,000 people attended.
Nehemiah with FMI says, “No group has claimed responsibility for the killing. But militant attacks on security forces and on common people in the markets have been not only on the rise in Pakistan’s northwest area (which borders Afghanistan) but in major cities as well, like Lahore, Islamabad, and Karachi. Many of them have been claimed by the TTP.”
TTP stands for the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan, the most feared terrorist group in the country. They have carried out dozens of attacks since breaking a truce with Pakistan’s government earlier this year. Read more here.
Pakistani officials have condemned the violence, saying it threatens minority communities. Police have promised to catch the shooters, conducting a manhunt.
But Nehemiah says, “All these terrorists, even the ones who were caught by the police or security agencies, later are often released by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Even in the attack on a Pakistani public school, where hundreds of children were killed by the Taliban, all of those prisoners were released by the Supreme Court.”
Christians make up a tiny minority in Pakistan, a predominantly Sunni Muslim nation. Estimates split this number mostly in half between Protestants and Catholics.
One Pakistani Christian told Nehemiah this: “Don’t pray for us. Pray with us.” Ask God to bring millions of people to faith in Jesus all across Pakistan.
The header photo shows Peshawar’s All Saints Church. (Photo courtesy of FMI)