Attack in Lahore

A Taliban splinter group was specifically targeting Christians with the suicide attack in the Pakistani city of Lahore on Easter Sunday, the organisation has announced. At least 72 people including 35 children died when the attacker exploded his device in a crowded park. Commentators call for greater protection of Christian minorities in Muslim countries.

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Irish Examiner (IE) /

Peaceful coexistence apparently impossible

The persecution of Christians in many parts of the world suggests that the idea of peaceful coexistence between various religions remains wishful thinking, the liberal daily Irish Examiner complains:

“Unsurprisingly, Pakistan’s Christians have accused their government of not doing enough to protect them. They are not alone. Christians in India and Burma, in Egypt and Iran, in Nigeria and North Korea, and in many, many more countries, are becoming what John L Allen Jr has called 'an entire new generation of Christian martyrs ... The carnage is ... the premier human rights challenge of this era'. Surely, and despite dire warnings ..., humanity can find a way to disagree and live together? The evidence seems to suggest that we cannot, and what a very dark, dispiriting portent that is.”

Financial Times (GB) /

Religious tolerance must not be a one-way street

The governments of the West must put much more pressure on Muslim states to protect Christian minorities, the conservative daily Financial Times argues after the attack:

“Western governments should now be more vocal and active in highlighting the plight of Christians. It will be increasingly hard to defend the ideals of multiculturalism and religious tolerance in the west if those ideas are under assault in other parts of the world and yet western governments stay silent. The voices of anti-Muslim populists, such as Donald Trump in the US or the far-right in Europe, are already loud. They will find it easy to argue that the west is being asked to extend a tolerance to Muslim immigrants that Muslim nations seem unwilling or unable to extend to religious minorities in their own midst.”

Daily Sabah (TR) /

Nato intelligence services must improve networking

The attack in Lahore underlines once again the fact that the international community must cooperate more closely in the fight against terror, the pro-government newspaper Daily Sabah urges:

“First, there really must be the establishment of a web of cooperation between countries' intelligence services. The recent summit of EU leaders was a visible example of how shallow this cooperation is. For the last two years, EU member states have tried to implement a common database to cover all passenger lists on flights to or from EU countries. Even this much could not be achieved up until now. It would be a very good idea to include a NATO-wide cooperation framework for such a step.”