Jihadist attacks forcing Quetta Christians to flee
Two Christians were killed and four seriously injured when gunmen on motorcycles opened fire on worshippers leaving a church service on 15 April 2018, while four Christians were killed in a drive-by shooting on Easter Monday, only four months after a suicide bombing at Bethel Memorial Methodist Church left nine dead and over 50 injured. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for all three attacks.
One Christian, speaking on condition of anonymity, told journalists: “We have been living for centuries in Quetta but due to targeted killings of the Christian community, I have lost nine of my family members and friends. Many of our relatives shifted to Karachi and we will also leave Quetta due to the deteriorating security situation … Leaving [our] home town is quite tough but we have no other option.”
The pastor of Bethel Memorial Methodist Church said December’s suicide attack had left the congregation “afraid and concerned about their safety”; many more of the congregation might have died had it not been for courageous efforts of two Christian men who managed to lock the church gates and delay the attackers.