Pakistani Christians tighten security around churches before Christmas
According to media reports in Pakistan, church leaders across the country have agreed to tighten security around Sunday services and Christmas celebrations. According to these leaders, there are increased concerns over the threat of attacks by religious extremists following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.
While Pakistan’s government claims Christians enjoy complete religious freedom, attacks on churches and Christian communities have continued to be regularly reported. Murad Ali Shah, Chief Minister of Sindh, said that extremist groups pose a threat to minority places of worship, especially in the aftermath of the Taliban’s rise to power.
“Appeasing radical Islamist groups would encourage more such groups,” Shah told the media. “There is a need for a national consensus to deal with the threat. The scale of radical Islamist groups has increased. The state is being increasingly challenged.”
Speaking to SocialNews.XYZ, Sajid Christopher, Chief Executive of Human Friends Organization, confirmed there are increased fears that the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and other extremist groups will target Christians over the Christmas holiday.
According to data compiled by the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS), the TTP has claimed responsibility for 55 attacks on Pakistan in the first nine months of 2021. This has many concerned that the TTP has the organizational capacity to commit more attacks, this time on Christians celebrating Christmas.