Human chain formed to protect Islamabad church

Published: October 13, 2013

The church pastor joins hands with ulema from the Shia and Sunni sects. PHOTO: MYRA IQBAL/EXPRESS

The church pastor joins hands with ulema from the Shia and Sunni sects. PHOTO: MYRA IQBAL/EXPRESS People forming human chain outside Islamabad church. PHOTO: MOHAMMAD JIBRAN NASIR People gathered outside an Islamabad church. PHOTO: SABEEN MAHMUD

ISLAMABAD: A human chain was formed around the Our Lady of Fatima Church in Islamabad during the Sunday Mass in a show of solidarity with the Christian community of Pakistan.

The event was organised by Pakistan For All – a collective of citizens concerned about the growing attacks on minorities. A small crowd gathered for the event, which saw the church’s pastor join the activists with ulema from the Shia and Sunni sects.

Previously, similar human chains were formed outside the St Patrick’s Cathedral in Karachi and St Anthony’s Church in Lahore following the Peshawar church attacks on September 22 which killed hundreds of worshippers.

Below are few photos from today’s event:

PHOTO: MOHAMMAD JIBRAN NASIR 

PHOTO: SABEEN MAHMUD 

PHOTO: SABEEN MAHMUD 

PHOTO: SABEEN MAHMUD 

PHOTO: SABEEN MAHMUD 

More photos were shared on Facebook:

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Reader Comments (31)

  • Aysha M
    Oct 13, 2013 - 2:22PM

    Brilliant! Love you all

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  • Mj
    Oct 13, 2013 - 2:25PM

    A very commendable action. Hope we can repeat the same with Ahmedi places of worship. They face similar, if not more, doscrimination and persecution.

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  • A-No.1
    Oct 13, 2013 - 2:34PM

    I wonder if these people would be willing to protect Ahamadi worship places?

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  • sakina
    Oct 13, 2013 - 2:48PM

    so proud of this..things and times like these restore my faith in humanity and hope on better tomorrows for pakistan

    pakistan zindabad.

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  • bajwa
    Oct 13, 2013 - 3:18PM

    Where was this solidarity when Ahmadiyya mosques were bombed on 28-5-2010?

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  • Aamir
    Oct 13, 2013 - 3:20PM

    Will anyone of those standing today make a line for Ahmadis?

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  • Zahir
    Oct 13, 2013 - 3:23PM

    At last something sensible and humane to read about and share with non-Muslim friends abroad. That is all it takes to send a positive message. Great work, whoever organised this move.

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  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    Oct 13, 2013 - 3:39PM

    A good sign of interfaith harmony in Pakistan .Recommend

  • Hmm ...
    Oct 13, 2013 - 3:49PM

    Human chains won’t stop Talibanis.
    They won’t stop till their demands are met by the Govt.
    They’re too strong.Recommend

  • Maximus Waller
    Oct 13, 2013 - 3:50PM

    there is a guy holding a placard with star of David on it… didn’t know there were jews living in Pakistan …

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  • Dina Afridi
    Oct 13, 2013 - 4:27PM

    Nice. But the real challenge would be if these mummy daddys do this every weekend or decide their sunday brunch at the club is more important from next week on.

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  • anti-elitist
    Oct 13, 2013 - 4:48PM

    Bravo.
    This is the silent majority of Pakistan. The disillusioned dis franchised good people of my nation don’t have a say or a proper platform otherwise Pakistan would never have ended up in the mess it is right now.
    Give them a chance, an opportunity and they will rise Pakistan in the same way as a phoenix rise from its own ashes.
    “Zara num ho to yeah matti bari zarkhes hai saqi”

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  • A-No.1
    Oct 13, 2013 - 4:58PM

    @Maximus Waller:
    Less then a dozen. Synagogue still intact in Karachi.

    What the guy with the placard missed out is a symbol for the 2 million odd hindus still surviving in Pakistan.

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  • genesis
    Oct 13, 2013 - 5:01PM

    Some of those banners.Hindus are left out because they not people of the Book.Human chains will not protect the church.change in the Human heart May Protect the Church.

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  • zahra
    Oct 13, 2013 - 5:05PM

    @Dina Afridi:
    What an unconstructive statement! They did it last weekend and the weekend before that; they’ve been doing this every weekend
    What we would like to see is drawing commentators like yourself to encourage rather than assume the ‘mummy daddies’ and ‘country clubs’ – says more about yoour upbringing than theirs!

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  • sick of this nonsense
    Oct 13, 2013 - 5:15PM

    @Dina Afridi:
    these mummy daddys actually did something. what have you done except hate everybody on the internet?

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  • Mudassar
    Oct 13, 2013 - 5:50PM

    will they make a human-chain when mosques are being attached?

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  • Eddied
    Oct 13, 2013 - 6:36PM

    This was beautiful and an inspiration to peaceful people…God bless the Pakistani people who were involved in this act of courage…

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  • James
    Oct 13, 2013 - 7:12PM

    Hope the same with the cases of “Blasphemy”.

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  • scotchpak
    Oct 13, 2013 - 7:26PM

    Very sad had to see this day in Pakistan. or should i say Islamabad. What a name for a Capital city? Wonder why Brazil did not invoke religion.

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  • Umer
    Oct 13, 2013 - 7:30PM

    @anti-elitist:

    This is the silent majority of Pakistan.

    Where is the majority? Its only hundred people. Please…

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  • anwar kamal
    Oct 13, 2013 - 7:30PM

    The state belongs to everybody,but the religion belongs to individual.The mass people like to live in peace.The politician and the so called religious leader make the division by wrong explanation of the religion among the people for their own vested interest.No religion allow to kill or attack the sacred places of other religion.Only spread of education and alert awareness of those vested quarter can work as safe guard.

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  • Aviator
    Oct 13, 2013 - 7:36PM

    This gives me hope for the future of Pakistan

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  • Raj - USA
    Oct 13, 2013 - 8:28PM

    As this has been rather continuous show of solidarity, I appreciate it. Thought the crowd is small, it is no doubt a good sign. Every long journey starts with the first step and I hope that this step is real and more and more will come out with their conviction. I would have loved the sunday brunch also. As far as ahmedis and hindus are concerned, it is a gathering in front of a church and I would not expect them carrying placards of support for hindus or ahmedis. “Hum Dono Ka Aik Khuda” banner says it clearly though the lady is wearing green and white. However, hindus and ahmedis may expect some peripheral lowering of discrimination/victimization and more understanding from the muslims of Pakistan. Also hindus and ahmedis, though they are more in numbers in Pakistan, do not have that much importance or influence internationally as the christians.

    Though these men and woman have shown some courage, what I want to see is conviction in their minds to treat all others equally to some extent at least, irrespective of their beliefs and not just based on their beliefs of “Aik Kudha” alone. I still regard more the 43 year old Pathan guard protecting the church, with not even a gun or knife but only his courage and conviction, same way his father was also doing.
    http://tribune.com.pk/story/612860/the-pakhtun-guardians-of-churches/

    I would have been happier had Asia Bibi been in this crowd or had there been even one banner in her support. However she is not Afia. I would be happy if Asis Bibi is able to spend her Christmas this year with her family.

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  • zoro
    Oct 13, 2013 - 8:34PM

    Just wait for some time … and ask them to do the same …
    As Taliban will have identified people by now …
    Next time it will be the same as it happened in Peshawar …. Either they will vanish …or killed …

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  • Zahid Ali
    Oct 13, 2013 - 9:05PM

    @Dina Afridi:

    I agree with your analysis – majority of these people are fair-weather friends. They will disappear in a few weeks when the next big story appears in the media, or they have a more pressing social lunch or breakfast to go to instead. Whats needed is a change of culture in our country towards minorities, but that will never happen if we continue to appease the Mullahs and hold talks with cold blooded killers like the Taliban.

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  • lalaland
    Oct 13, 2013 - 11:18PM

    @Dina Afridi- The mummy daddies are doing something atleast. What are you doing?

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  • Rex Minor
    Oct 14, 2013 - 3:45AM

    People are responsible for the peace in their communiies and it is their collective will which generates the energy whch can do wonders. It would seem that finaly people are waking up to the call for action rather than allocating blames. This should, however not alleviate the State to providing security around the worship places at all times..

    Rex Minor

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  • Much Appreciated
    Oct 14, 2013 - 4:52AM

    Made my day! :)

    Only if this act can be done again with our Ahmadi Muslims :)

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  • Faisal Abidid
    Oct 14, 2013 - 6:38AM

    That’s what it’s about! Coming togehter like this. These people are all heroes, each and every one of them.

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  • khalid
    Oct 14, 2013 - 10:28AM

    @A-No.1:
    There were slogans in favour of Ahmedis as well. I was there

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