Pakistan: Taliban steps up terror campaign against Christians

Although the Pakistan army is staging a major offensive against militants in the Swat Valley, the Taleban  has begun a new massive intimidation campaign against Christian communities and institutions and other religious minorities all over the country, Fides reports.

A local Church source said threatening letters have been received by various bodies in Pakistan. Rabita Manzil Multimedia Centre run by the Social Communications Office  of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Pakistan, received a letter in which it was written: “We know you are Christians. We order you to leave this area or convert to Islam and pay 1,5 million Rupees (about 18.500 dollars) or you will be targeted by a suicide bomber”.

Similar threatening letters were delivered to churches, including Sacred Heart Cathedral in Lahore, and Catholic  associations and schools. Christians of other denominations received similar letters.

The Christian Churches in Pakistan recently raised their voices to promote awareness of the intrinsic danger of religious fundamentalism not only for religious minorities but for the whole of society, for the secular nature of the country and the rights of all and for democracy.

Christians say that are “deeply concerned” because the Taleban spread confusion across the nation, threatening its foundations and roots. They warn that this violence can affect any other political or social minority which refuses to be subject to Taleban law.

Firmly united Christians of all denominations call on government to undertake structural reforms at the legislative and political level, to stop the advance of religious fundamentalism in the country.  Planned awareness promoting events include an ecumenical  Day for Social Justice on 16 August.

Source: Fides

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