ONE year after a suicide-bomb attack on All Saints', Peshawar,
in northern Pakistan, the situation for Christians in the town
As many as 100 worshippers were killed on 22 September last
year, and at least 150 were injured (News,
27 September 2013). A militant group linked to the Pakistani
Taliban later claimed responsibility for the slaughter.
Today, Christians still gather on Sundays at All Saints', but
the pain and scars from last year's attack are not far from the
On Monday, candles were lit in memory of the victims at a
special service. A rally for peace was also held in the city, and
Christians demanded that the authorities do more to protect them
from Islamist terrorists.
The Archbishop of Canterbury said in a statement that, when he
visited Pakistan in May, he had been appalled to see evidence of
the "hatred, violence, and persecution" faced by Christians.
"We must continue to pray and call for justice, and for the
peace of Pakistan and the protection of Christ's people there," he
The Revd Fayaz Adman, Team Vicar of West Bolton, lost more than
25 members of his extended family in the atrocity, and has visited
the church several times in the past year.
He said on Monday that conditions for Christians remained
difficult, even though the local authorities had installed some
security personnel around the building. "The situation is the same
[as last year]. They are still under threat, and there are security
issues. But they had a normal service on Sunday."
Another challenge for the Christian community was caring for the
injured, Mr Adman said. "Some people are still in trauma after 12
months. There are children who need skin grafts, and other
Mr Adman said that a rehabilitation centre had been opened near
All Saints' to offer free services to the injured, and that his
wife had remained in Peshawar to ensure that the money raised from
across the Anglican Communion was properly spent. "We are thankful
for all our communities in Britain . . . who have supported us," he
Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) warned last week that some
of the injured victims had been "forcibly removed" from hospitals
because of delays in receiving government compensation.
CSW's chief executive, Mervyn Thomas, said that "justice must be
served," and that the money from a promised £1.2-million fund for
victims' families must be released immediately.