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WCC expresses sorrow in wake of attack on Muslim shrine in Pakistan

WCC expresses sorrow in wake of attack on Muslim shrine in Pakistan

© Albin Hillert/WCC

Feb 17, 2017

World Council of Churches general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit expressed sadness on 16 February with the news of a bomb attack on the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar Sufi shrine in Sindh province, Pakistan.

“The World Council of Churches wants to express its profound sorrow and abhorrence at the murderous attack which took place today on many Muslim people who were visiting the shrine of the great Sufi figure Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, who is viewed by many as a great mystic, scholar and poet.”

Tveit shared his sorrow because of the many dead and the many more who are injured or bereaved. At least 75 people were dead, with many more injured, according to early press reports.

“We speak of abhorrence because it was a deliberate targeting of a religious shrine, sacred to a considerable number of faithful Muslims, commemorating a figure who is honoured in part for his own willingness to relate positively to those who differed from himself in faith, language or ethnicity.”

Thousands gather at the shrine, built in 1356, every Thursday to pray and participate in other Sufi traditions.

“We offer our prayers, and express our continued determination to work to ensure that violence should no longer be able to use religion for its justification anywhere in our world,” said Tveit.

WCC member churches in Pakistan