Holy Week a nightmare for Christians in Asia and Africa

Easter attacks ensure maximum impact both in terms of casualties and publicity

Apr 02, 2021

By Ben Joseph
With the “Easter attack” becoming a routine affair in Asia and Africa over the past decade, Holy Week has become a nightmare for Christians in some places, as the mere act of going to church invites death and destruction for the congregation.

Christians in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and now Indonesia, as well as their counterparts in Nigeria and Egypt in Africa, have faced deadly attacks — and God knows which nation is next in the line of fire.

The perpetrators’ newfound love for Holy Week attacks is not surprising, because churches tend to be packed with the faithful at this time, presenting ripe targets in large numbers at one go.

The terrorist attacks are meant to have a maximum impact, both in terms of casualties and publicity in the most important week of worship of the global Christian community.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many Christians have been skipping congregational services at churches. However, more of them are attracted to liturgical services during Holy Week.

During Easter last year, the faithful were safe within the walls of their homes due to social distancing and other protocols to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

This year, on Palm Sunday, a suicide attack on the Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral in the Indonesian city of Makassar left at least 20 people injured, and the bomb explosion killed the two suicide bombers. The police identified the two attackers as members of Jemaah Ansharut Daulat.

Christians in Makassar were lucky on Palm Sunday as the attackers were the only ones who died after a security guard prevented them from securing entry to the cathedral compound.

Manufacturers of terrorism
There is no shortage of condemning perverted people who use religion to justify the worst possible behaviour imaginable and acts of terrorism worldwide. But there is never any probe to find out where these terrorists who subscribe to radical violent extremism get the modern weaponry to kill poor, ethnic and linguistic minorities in Asia and Africa.

Ironically, those who claim to be the ‘good guys’ are the major arms producers. So, there is much beyond radical Islam. Terrorism often has a politico-economic element. Every terrorist act is “a cover for action,” as they say in police circles these days.

In fact, nation after nation is declaring war on terror. They have enriched their arsenals with signature tools like drone warfare — the use of remotely piloted aircraft — but terrorists thrive everywhere.

Secret pacts inked by these nations allow their governments to pursue conflicts in the name of the war on terror without taking their citizens into confidence.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the war on terror or Operation Enduring Freedom, and the theatre of war is active in more than 80 countries, covering 40 per cent of nations.

But there is not the slightest evidence that enduring freedom is gaining ground. The operation has cost humanity more than US$6.4 trillion, caused the deaths of 335,000 civilians and displaced 37 million people from their homes. Despite this, the number of terrorist groups has increased, and they now have the money to undertake precision strikes. The war on terror manufactures terrorists.

The global war on terror by the ‘good guys’ against the bad guys has been reduced to a campaign of terror against civilians.

Alas, religions have become pawns in the hands of the market. And the shadow war is targeting the innocent followers of religion.––ucanews.com

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