A group of young Christians in Pakistan have come together to protect their churches after a recent increase in terror attacks on Christian gatherings.
Terrorist attacks in Pakistan on the minority communities have risen and the recent attacks on Christian congregations in March have put the community in fear.
In light of the security situation in the country the group, which began as sixteen young Pakistani Christians from all walks of life, decided to become the protectors of their churches.
The group started by protecting the Shalom Presbyterian Church in Bahar Colony, Lahore. The church is one of the most densely populated cities of the country and has expanded since then to provide security to six more churches in their area.
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While the government has pledged more safety for minority communities and provided security to various churches in major cities but recent incidents prove that further effort is required.
Spokesperson for the group, Waqar Peter Gill, said that they want to protect more churches in the future.
"We are more blessed and strengthened in God day by day and we are looking forward to reach more and more churches in Lahore and other parts of the country irrespective of the denomination," Gill said, while encouraging Pakistani Christians to join in the effort.
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"To the youth I want to say that you are the backbone of the church and society. Without you and your support we can't move on and pass the torch of salvation, love, peace and happiness to future generations," Gill added.
Christians make up around two per cent of Pakistan’s mainly Muslim population of 180 million.
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While PM Nawaz Sharif on the occasion of Easter in Pakistan assured the Christian community that they enjoy the same rights as other Pakistanis, a greater effort is needed to resolve the aggravating issue.
In a statement addressing all minorities of the nation PM Nawaz had said, “I wish to point out that the father of the nation unequivocally declared the policy of equality, freedom and security for all communities in Pakistan irrespective of their religion and ethnicity. This assurance is adequately enshrined in the Constitution of Pakistan.” President Mamnoon Hussain, while extending his greetings to the Christian community said that the the Christians and all minorities of Pakistan are equal citizens of the state and entitled to equal rights.
“We, as Muslims, deeply respect and give honour to Jesus Christ as one of the great messengers of Allah. In today’s strife and conflict ridden world, the universal message of love of Jesus Christ can bring harmony and peace in our lives.”
The article originally appeared on Christian Post