.- Last Wednesday’s anti-Christian violence in Karachi left 15 people wounded and resulted in the houses of 15 Christian families being set on fire, putting Christians on alert as the Taliban increases its influence in Pakistan.
Fr. Mario Rodriguez, the Karachi-based Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies of Pakistan, told Fides news agency that several Taliban members were caught spraying offensive and intimidating messages on the walls of a church. The vandals were stopped by a group of Christians, but they returned with over 40 armed soldiers who began firing on the gathered Christians. Fifteen were wounded, one man seriously.
The mob then began to sack the nearby houses of 15 Christian families, later setting them on fire.
Police arrived and imposed a ceasefire in the neighborhood. Local communities are seeking protection and justice from the local government, Fides says.
The “Muttahida Quami Movement,” which represents the religious minorities in the Pakistani Parliament, organized a protest and condemned the violence, saying “no to the Talibanization of Pakistan.”
The aim of the Taliban is to force Christians to leave the area or pay a tribute imposed by Sharia law on non-Muslim minorities.
Taliban forces have taken control of the Swat Valley in the country’s northwest, where they have implemented a rigorous form of Sharia. Their show of strength in the southern city of Karachi has caused much fear among Christians and other religious minorities.