On March 29, two days after the Gulshan-e-Iqbal Easter homicidal suicide bombing, I opined that we should provide more material support for authentic Christian Human Rights activists like Shamim Masih. In that post I highlighted the dangers that Pakistani Christians and especially activists like Shamim experience using the park massacre as an example. Below Shamim gives us an on the spot Pakistani Christian perspective of the victims of the park massacre.
[Repeat support info for the activism of Shamim Masih in standing up Pakistani Christians:
The best way to SUPPORT Shamim’s Christian advocacy in Pakistan is via Western Union sending money with this LINK to a Western Union agent in Islamabad. Shamim’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org, Include Shamim’s phone - +92-300-642-4560
By Shamim Masih
Sent: 3/31/2016 6:00 AM
Shamim Masih with a victim of Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park Homicidal Suicide
I have extremely grave to report of a devastating bomb attack that has decimated the Christian of Lahore. A powerful bomb blast rocked the city of Lahore on the Easter, Sunday evening 27th March, 2016. The blast believed to have killed over 80 people and have injured more than 350 people. The explosion took place inside a busy park Gulshan-e-Iqbal. A large number of families especially women and children were present when the blast took place. Many of them are believed to be Christians as it is common tradition families to go to the local funfair to celebrate the resurrection day of Christ Jesus.
Pakistani Christians, “marginalized community” is frequently targeted by the Islamic militants’ organizations in Pakistan. On this Easter, when world was busy in celebrating resurrection of Christ Jesus, Pakistani Christians spent Easter evening in burying the dead bodies of their friends and relatives. A Taliban suicide bomber killed at least 75 people, many of them of minority Christian community and injured around 400 others, most of them were children and women, at a Gulshan-e-Jinnah, Lahore. In this tragic attack 18 Christians were died including two real sisters and 60 injured are from the Christian background.
A suicide bomber blew himself up in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park crowded with families when all were enjoying on Easter evening. According to the sources, in two blocks of Lahore’s Youhanabad area there were six victims out of 20 Christians of the butchery. Jamaat-ul-Ahrar [Profiles: theconversation.com, Wikipedia & WarOnTheRocks.com], a splinter faction of the banned outfits Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan [Profiles: International Relations Insights & Analysis – 1/2015 PDF, satp.org & GlobalSecurity.org] (TTP) claimed [responsibility for] the deadly attack and said that the attack on Christians on Easter had been carried out under an operation codenamed “Saut-ul-Raad” which will continue throughout this year. “We claim responsibility for the attack on Christians as they were celebrating Easter, spokesperson for the TTP Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, Ehsanullah Ehsan [Wikipedia] said in a statement to local media. “It was part of our annual martyrdom attacks we have started this year, Ehsan said, adding that “we had been waiting for this occasion.”
Christians were hurt in Sunday’s attack because it took place on Easter but there were also Muslim victims, said Sarwer Masih uncle of the injured young man Waseem in Sheikh Zaid Hospital. Mr. James one son Naoman had died and another son Asher is injured in the incident. “We are all being hit [by] this, Christians and Muslims also, he said.”
Asher James (injured) said we went to the park and my brother was bit away from me and suddenly there was a blast and we were on the ground.
Waseem son of Ameen Masih, a college student, said his father is a sanitary worker in the University of Punjab but he wanted to continue his studies. He said he went to park with his cousin Bilal but we both were injured but we will be good soon. Bilal son of Bota had some serious injuries and was admitted in Sheikh Zaid Hospital.
Abraham Issac (his father) was another injured in the General Hospital and said he went with his friends to the park but he could not survive. Asia Bibi, 43, mother of Abraham said her husband is an auto driver and we hardly manage our [financial] living. She said we need much consolation, we have become tired, we are worried and have become scared.
Pastor Sajid Tanveer said we pray for the country that Pakistan should remain safe forever. We are Pakistanis, we love Pakistan.” Our Muslim brothers …. Those injured are crying too. When you become a servant of God, he said, you don’t think about funerals. You think about the Bible and taking its message to the world - life, not death.
The disaster recovery call is for friends to help as much as they can. Your donation will be used to support victims with medical, rehabilitation of those injured, trauma counseling and restoration of families who have lost a main bread winner or lay of work for some time.
[The best way to SUPPORT Shamim’s Christian advocacy in Pakistan is via Western Union sending money with this LINK to a Western Union agent in Islamabad. Shamim’s email is email@example.com, Include Shamim’s phone - +92-300-642-4560]
Edited by John R. Houk
All text enclosed by brackets are by the Editor
© Shamim Masih