04/01/2021 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – According to Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), Christians in Pakistan are increasing security measures at churches in preparation for the Easter holiday. In previous years, Christians celebrating Easter and other important holidays have been targeted by extremists seeking to persecute the Christian community.
“For the past 12 years, I have been leading young men dedicated to support the security guards stationed at the cathedral,” William Arif Khan, a Christian who leads a team of security volunteers at Lahore’s Sacred Heart Cathedral, told ACN. “We don’t expect any rewards. All of them are on the job and dedicated their holiday to the church.”
“The volunteers are equipped with metal detectors,” Khan continued. “The police have allowed us to keep some licensed weapons on the church premises, but mostly either my deputy or I are armed with a pistol.”
In recent years, Pakistani Christians have been targeted by extremists during important holidays. In 2015, in the weeks leading up to Easter, two churches in the Youhanabad neighborhood of Lahore were attacked by suicide bombers. The next year, 2016, Christians celebrating Easter in a public park in Lahore were again attacked by a suicide bomber.
“Everybody is afraid of the terrorists,” Khan told ACN. “But we stand for the One who protects us all. Our faith tells us that God won’t let us down. Therefore, we perform our duties with complete passion and avoid negative thinking.”