In recent years there have been a succession of terrorist attacks on Christian churches in Pakistan and there is a very real danger of further ones. As a result, the Christians have been forced to strengthen the security measures around their churches and parish centres. In fact these measures have also been demanded by the government, which now requires specific minimum safety standards. These include solid, high, protective walls, topped with barbed wire and equipped with video surveillance cameras.
Needless to say, implementing these measures is a heavy financial burden for many communities, since the ordinary Catholic faithful in Pakistan are generally poor and belong to the lowest social strata, and because as members of the religious minorities in the country, they have few if any opportunities for economic advancement in society.
As a result ACN is constantly receiving requests from parish communities and other Church establishments in Pakistan for help to implement the necessary security measures.
On this occasion it is the parish of Our Lady of Loreto in the diocese of Multan that has requested our support. The church and parish house were built 60 years ago by Italian Dominican missionaries. At that time there was no threat of terrorism, and so there was no need to build an enclosure wall around the plot.
As the situation became more dangerous, the faithful themselves built a wall with their own resources. However, it is not sufficiently robust and is constantly being damaged by wind and weather. Besides, it is too low and does not meet the stringent standards required by the government, which is moreover demanding rapid implementation of the security measures.
In short, the faithful simply do not have the resources to build the required security wall and barbed wire fencing. So their priest has turned to ACN, confident of our support. Needless to say, we want to help as rapidly as possible, with 25,500 Euros. Can you help us?