MIRPURKHAS – Christians belonging to all the Churches gathered together in the Chapel of St Teresa’s Hospital to commemorate during a memorial service held for the Christians killed in the suicide bombings at Youhannabad Lahore.
While a good number of well-wishing Muslims and Hindus joined in for the service, the police and SP also participated and provided security to the congregation. Fr Abid Habib presided together with Frs John O’Brien, Fr Emmanuel Mustaq, Rev Arif Manzoor and Rev Isaac Gill.
While addressing the congregation, during the commencement of the service, Fr John O’Brien said that no faith allows killing in the name of the almighty and this is why we have gathered here to pass this message on to others that never to kill taking the name of God. “We will remember the deceased, their families, the authorities, that may the Lord Grant consolation and we also pray for the murderers that may they come to realize the wrong they have done. We will pray this in the Church and also in front of the press club,” Fr John O’Brien said.
In his homily, Fr Abid Habib said, “The whole nation regardless of creed and culture is full of anxiety as all the places of worship are being attacked. Like the Prophet Jeremiah we too are crying in front of the Almighty ‘why is this happening to us.’ Things are so bad in the country that many Christians have fled to Bangkok where they are facing further problems. Though we are all worried and are among those who never lose hope, nothing can take us away from the love of Christ. So let us not lose hope and be a source of hope to others.”
After the service the congregation went towards the Press Club singing psalms and holding banners and placards condemning the incident and demanding justice. At the press club Rev Arif Manzoor demanded the immediate arrest and severe punishment of the culprits. Madame Parween, a Senior Christian Nurse demanded that protection of the places of worship of the minorities while Reaz David demanded the exposure and severe punishment of the culprits. Younas Ravi, a Christian Advocate appealed to the Prime Minister, the Chief Minister of Punjab, Minister of Interior, and Chief of Army Staff and to the Chief Justice of Pakistan to take notice of this event and bring to book the culprits.
Fr Abid Habib laid great stress on the fact that we not only need remember the recent killings of Youhannabad, we also need to remember all who were killed in Mosques, Imam Baras, temples, Churches and all those who were killed in the name of the Almighty. He condemned all these killings and appealed to the culprits to repent in front of the Almighty as they have angered Him or face His wrath. He appealed to the Government of Pakistan to provide security to all the Houses of Worship and invited all to pray that they may become instruments of peace.