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Pakistan

Lessons learnt from Lahore lynching case

It is about time the Church invested in people and did more to support victims of religious persecution

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Lessons learnt from Lahore lynching case

National Commission for Justice and Peace national director Father Emmanuel Yousaf (Mani) prays with Christians arrested in the Youhanabad lynching case. (Photo courtesy of NCJP)

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I still remember reaching Youhanabad a few hours after Taliban group bombers attacked two churches in March 2015. What I saw there was not what I had expected.

Smoke was still rising from two corpses lying on the road fronting the locality. Around them lay sticks, shoes and plastic bags. Their blood had dried beneath the cross mounted at the entrance gate of the largest Christian district in Asia.

“They must be suicide bombers. People must have thrown them out as a message to terrorists,” I thought as I sped towards St. John's, one of the attacked churches. Many of my relatives lived around this Catholic church.

That’s where I learned that a local mob had lynched two Muslims suspected of carrying out the deadly attacks. Instead of focusing on the damaged churches and interviewing survivors, the news channels were already asking protesters about the murders.

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