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Archbishop Calls for Step Up in Security after Pakistan School Massacre

Archbishop Joseph Coutts of Karachi says the Peshawar attack shows the Taliban “will stop at nothing now”.

The leader of Catholics in the country has urged the government to increase security, arguing that the terror threat to schools, hospitals, churches, mosques and other public places has grown.

During an interview with Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) he said the attack, which killed over a hundred children, was “a sign of desperation”, adding:

“The Taliban are prepared to carry out brutal attacks, killing school children, shooting them in the head. They will stop at nothing now.

“They should be increasing security in public places. We are dealing here with people who have no conscience; It is just blind hatred.”

“The Taliban are wanting to show [the military] that they can hit the [army’s] children and all their families. Their message is: ‘We can get you in your own territory’.”
“I don’t think it was a show of strength. It is more likely to be a last ditch attempt to show what they can do.”

Archbishop Coutts, who is President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Pakistan, has called on Christians to pray for the 141 victims of the attack earlier this week, and also for peace:

“It is the duty of every Christian to be a promoter of peace, reconciliation, harmony and unity … work[ing] together with fellow citizens [so] that Pakistan may be free from the scourge of violence and terrorism.”

He called on church communities to “celebrate Christmas in a sober manner as a mark of respect for all victim[s] of terror attacks”, adding:

“On the birthday of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, all Christians must pray fervently for peace.”

In a statement, Archbishop Coutts also asked Christians to remember those persecuted in Pakistan, such as Christian couple Shama Bibi and Sajjad Maseeh, who were burned to death earlier this month for alleged blasphemy…Read More

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