Pakistani Christians return to church, but others stay home in fear
One week after 15 Christians were killed in St. Dominic's Church, Bahawalpur, both Protestant and Catholic Pakistanis held a service outside the church building. The sanctuary remains closed until it can be washed and blessed. Police have arrested and detained many suspects, but say they have no clue about who was behind the massacre. The congregation outside St. Dominic's may have swelled this week, but elsewhere in Pakistan church attendance has dwindled. About 500 members usually show up weekly at Bethel Methodist Church in Quetta; this week only 200 came. "Many people are frightened to come," Florence Arthur tells London's Daily Telegraph. "I have spent the week travelling to see members of our community to try and encourage them to come to the service but there are a number, particularly the less educated parishioners, who are just too frightened." The New York Times doesn't say if attendance has similarly dropped off at St. Michael's Catholic Church in Peshawar, but the paper has several beautiful photos from the service. The Houston Chronicle doesn't have many specifics, but has an excellent profile of the plight of Christians in the country, noting that the country's blasphemy law is largely responsible for keeping Christians as "strangers in their own land."
New York Episcopalians return to Trinity Church On this side of the world, another congregation was regrouping after a different terrorist attack. Almost two months after the September 11 World Trade Center attack, Manhattan's 155-year-old Trinity Church has reopened its doors. The congregation had been meeting in a nearby Roman Catholic church. In a sign of unity, the church offered only one ...1
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