Pakistan is home to over two million Christians. A small number of these Christians are Orthodox. Orthodox Christians in Pakistan are under the spiritual jurisdiction of the Orthodox Metropolitanate of Singapore and South Asia, which comprises all the Orthodox Communities, Parishes, Foundations and Philanthropic Projects in Singapore, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Afghanistan, Brunei, Timor, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, as well as Pakistan.
For previous ChristianPersecution.com coverage of the persecution of Christians in Pakistan, see here.
“Pakistani churches on high alert, amp up security following rise of Taliban,” IANS, December 7, 2021:
At a meeting of Catholic and Protestant leaders in Pakistan, the senior clergy agreed to tighten surveillance and take additional security measures, especially during Sunday services. With the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, there are serious concerns of extremist incidents aimed at minority communities, especially the Christians as Christmas draws near.
While the government claims that religious minorities enjoy complete freedom and that the state is ensuring the protection of their places of worship, vandalisation of churches, temples, and Ahmadiyya mosques at the hands of Islamist groups and mobs has been regularly reported. Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah says that jihadist groups do pose a threat to worship places like churches, especially in the aftermath of the Taliban’s rise to power.
“Appeasing (radical Islamist) groups would encourage more such groups. There is a need for a national consensus to deal with the threat (posed by jihadist outfits),” said Shah. “The scale of (radical Islamist) groups has increased. The write of the state is being increasingly challenged,” he added.
Sajid Christopher, human rights activist and chief executive of Human Friends Organisation, confirmed that there were indeed fears that the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and other militant groups would target religious minorities following their overthrow of the Afghan government.
“The Taliban have frequently targeted churches and Christian institutes,” he said. “(There are fears) that they will be targeted again.”
Past attacks on Pakistan’s Christian minority
Although attacks on the Christian community in Pakistan are common, such strikes on churches rose in frequency and intensity since the terrorist attacks in the US on September 11, 2001.
One may recall the December 2017 bombing of Quetta’s Bethel Memorial Methodist Church ahead of Christmas; nine people were killed and dozens were injured in the attack….