Christians in Lahore are ramping up security measures following a recent shooting at a Catholic church in the Punjab capital.
Two gunmen on motorcycles opened fire on the main door of St Joseph Church, in the city’s Dhup Sarri Christian neighbourhood, in the early hours of Saturday.
Nobody was hurt in the incident, which caused minor damage to the church and a nearby school.
Police have launched a manhunt for the gunmen and placed the church under 24-hour guard. They say they have yet to establish a motive for the attack.
“Perhaps the culprits meant to stoke sectarian tensions in the area. Damaging a place of worship is wicked,” Iqbal Hasan, a police officer, told Ucanews.com.
In response to the attack, local Christians said they could not rely on police to protect them and are preparing their own security measures.
Fr Asif Sardar, the parish’s assistant pastor, said measures included an improved closed-circuit television surveillance, using armed guards and installing security barriers around the church.
“This is the second time this community has been targeted. I have asked people not to be afraid and refrain from any retaliation. We need to be careful and think of our children. God is the greatest protector,” he said.
A mob rampaged through the Dhup Sarri neighbourhood last month after a mentally ill man was accused of burning pages of the Koran. The windows of St Joseph church were broken during the unrest.
by Catholic News Service