Less than two weeks after suicide bombers murdered 18 worshippers at two churches in Lahore, Pakistan (I wrote about it here), the country’s Ecumenical Commission for Human Development has released its initial report on the atrocity.
According to the report:
Recent years, however, have witnessed an environment of growing intolerance, vigilantism and impunity against various groups, endorsed by the state and sanctioned by the society. As a result, these divisions have developed into fault lines, threatening the very existence of the country. And within this atmosphere rife with violent extremism, the religious minorities in the country continue to be on the frontline of persecution.
It has made a series of recommendations:
The Government of Pakistan should take strict action against the splinter group of Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, who owned the responsibility of twin terrorist attacks on Churches and all suspected person who are involved in these deadly blasts.
The Government of Pakistan should take strict action against the stone-hearted persons who lynched the two suspected militants by conducting fair and effective investigation to ensure the justice.
The Government of Pakistan should ensure the implementation of Article 36 of Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan regarding the protection and security of religious minorities in the country.
The Government of Pakistan should ban the misuse of speakers to religious places that is done to incite the religious sentiments of one religion against other religion and sects. The concerned governments should ban the utterance of hatred speech against any other religion and sects.
The Government of Pakistan should prohibit the increasing trend of mob violence undertaken to violate the rule of law and harm the religious minorities and other weaker groups in the country.
The Government of Pakistan should ensure the protection and security of religious minorities, their places of worship and associated institutions and also compensate the families of martyrs and injured according to the rules.
The Government of Pakistan should take an initiative for peace and interfaith harmony between the majority and minority communities in the country.
The Ecumenical Commission for Human Development is an independent Christian agency committed to the development of marginalized communities in Pakistan.