In yet another incident of violence against the county’s religious minorities, a priest was shot dead while another was injured in a targeted attack in Peshawar on Sunday.
According to reports, unidentified gunmen, riding a motorcycle, opened fire on Pastor Patrick Naeem and lay pastor William Siraj following the Sunday mass at the All Saints Church Ring Road.
Siraj died on the spot while Patrick was rushed to a hospital with bullet wounds where, according to the doctors, he is now in stable condition.
Police cordoned off the area and launched a search operation to arrest the culprits.
Speaking to Kross Konnection, Church of Pakistan (CoP) leaders, including Moderator/President Bishop Dr Azad Marshall and Bishop of the Diocese of Peshawar Humphrey Peters condemned the incident.
“Leadership of the Church of Pakistan is speechless over this cowardly attack. It is unfortunate that the country’s minority communities continue to pay with their lives for the State’s inability to protect them,” Bishop Azad said.
He called on the government to ensure the culprits were brought to justice at the earliest.
We strongly condemn the firing on clergy of Diocese of Peshawar and instant killing of Pastor Wilson and injuring Rev Patrick Naeem earlier today. We demand justice and protection of Christians from the Government of Pakistan. pic.twitter.com/5sVOyI2bf2
— Bishop Azad Marshall (@BishopAzadM) January 30, 2022
“We strongly condemn the firing on clergy of Diocese of Peshawar and instant killing of Pastor Wilson and injuring Rev Patrick Naeem earlier today. We demand justice and protection of Christians from the Government of Pakistan,” he tweeted.
Bishop Humphrey also demanded that the culprits be nabbed and the State ensure the country’s religious minorities were protected.
Parliamentary Secretary for Human Rights Shunila Ruth also condemned the incident.
Let us continue to pray for God’s intervention to stop persecution and peace & tranquility to prevail in the affected areas. We serve a good, loving, omnipotent, omniscient, faithful and gracious God Almighty.