Pakistan: A security wall for the minor seminary in the diocese of Islamabad
Attacks against Christians are a regular occurrence in Pakistan today. Almost every priest in the country has at some time received anonymous threatening phone calls or letters. Even the bishops of the country receive threatening letters, demanding that they convert to Islam. Attacks on churches and Church properties are frequent and increasing - and sometimes they are much more serious than simply stone throwing. There have also been suicide attacks, bomb attacks, armed attacks, arson attacks and assaults by angry mobs. The danger of such attacks is a constant one. Many churches are under police protection, and the government has required the Church to take increased security measures.
(Seminarians from Our Lady of Lourdes Minor Seminary in Lalazar © Aid to the Church in Need)
In 1995 the diocese of Islamabad-Rawalpindi opened a minor seminary in Lalazar, where young men who are contemplating a vocation to the priesthood undergo a preliminary three years of training, before entering the major seminary. At present there are 22 young seminarians living and studying at Our Lady of Lourdes Minor Seminary” and being introduced to the spiritual life.
The seminary is already surrounded by a wall, which has however collapsed in places, so that unauthorieed persons can easily gain access to the grounds. In a country like Pakistan, where terrorism and violence are everywhere, this is a great danger, particularly for the members of the embattled Christian minority. And so the wall needs to be repaired and rebuilt and made higher and stronger, so that it can protect those within. But unfortunately the seminary itself, which has been standing for over 20 years now, has also had to have some essential repair and renovation work done in recent years. And so the diocese has turned to the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) for help to rebuild and reinforce the seminary enclosure wall. ACN has promised a grant of $27,000 to help this cause.
The vital work of Catholic charities like Aid to the Church In Need provide a lifeline to the Church wherever she is poor, persecuted or threatened. Please help our work by donating online
or send your donation to Aid to the Church in Need, PO Box 7246 Baulkham Hills NSW 2153. Ph: (02) 9679-1929