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General Bajwa lauds contributions of Pakistani Christians towards national development

RAWALPINI: Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Friday hosted a banquet dinner in the honour of leading Christian clergy in Pakistan. According to the Inter-Services Public Relations, the event was attended, among others, by His Eminence Cardinal Joseph Coutts who was recently elevated as a cardinal in the Vatican, and Right Reverend Humphrey Sarfraz Peter. General Bajwa regarded the appointment of Cardinal Coutts as a great national honour and a milestone towards fostering national harmony and accord.…

Two Christians gunned down in drive-by shooting in Quetta

QUETTA: Two members of the Christian community were killed on Sunday in the provincial capital of Balochistan, Quetta, when unknown gunmen opened fire on a small group that had just left a local church, police officials said. The churchgoers were on their way home when two men on a motorcycle began shooting at them, local police official Ataullah Shah said. Eight wounded were taken to hospital and two people were pronounced dead. Television pictures showed members of Quetta’s Christian community burning car and…

Masked gunmen kill 28 in attack on Christians in Egypt

EDWA, EGYPT: Gunmen attacked a group of Coptic Christians travelling to a monastery in southern Egypt on Friday, killing 28 people and wounding 24, with many children among the victims, Health Ministry officials said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. It followed a series of church bombings claimed by Islamic State in a campaign of violence against the Copts. Eyewitnesses said masked men opened fire after stopping the bus and other vehicles. Local TV channels showed a bus apparently raked…

Pope Francis leads mass for thousands of Egyptian Catholics

CAIRO: Pope Francis led a jubilant mass for thousands of Egyptian Catholics on Saturday during a visit to support the country's embattled Christian minority and promote dialogue with Muslims. The visit, coming after the Islamic State group killed dozens of worshippers in three Egyptian church bombings in December and April, provided the beleaguered Christians with an occasion to celebrate. A crowd of about 15,000 people cheered and released yellow and white balloons with Francis, flanked by security, circling the Cairo…

At least 21 dead in bombing at Egyptian church

CAIRO: At least 21 people were killed and 59 wounded in Sunday's bomb attack against a Christian Coptic church north of Cairo, the Egyptian health ministry said. The blast took place during a Palm Sunday mass at the Mar Girgis Coptic Church in the city of Tanta about 120 kilometres (75 miles) from Cairo, an interior ministry official said. Palm Sunday is one of the holiest days of the Christian calendar, marking the triumphant entrance of Jesus to Jerusalem. The state-run Nile television channel said the blast…

Al-Azhar hosting Muslim, Christian co-existence meeting

Top Muslim and Christian clerics from the Middle East gathered in Cairo on Tuesday for a two-day conference on promoting co-existence, as sectarian conflict continues to ravage the region. The "Freedom and Citizenship" conference is hosted by Al-Azhar, one of the leading Sunni Muslim authorities based in Cairo. It comes as Coptic Christians in Egypt's Sinai flee attacks by Islamic State group militants who are waging an insurgency in the peninsula. "Exonerating religions from terrorism no longer suffices in the…

Murad felicitates Christmas to Christians, Quaid’s birth anniversary to nation

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has felicitated Christmas to Christian community living all over Pakistan, particularly in Sindh. In a message to the Christian Community, the chief minister said that this day reminds us the teaching of love, forgiveness and brother hood among the people without any prejudice as taught by Jesus Christ. He said his government would continue to struggle for the rights of minorities. Quaid's Birthday Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has also felicitated the…

Pakistan Railways launches special train on Christmas

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Railways on Thursday launched a special purpose train from Islamabad on the occasion of Christmas. The train is adorned with Christmas lights and mock snowmen, and with carriages that have portraits and tributes to notable Christian Pakistanis, the government says it hopes to change mindsets in Pakistan. It set off on Thursday afternoon from Islamabad to Peshawar, and will travel to Lahore on Christmas day before leaving for Karachi on January 1. Minister for Railways Saad Rafique, addressing…