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Pakistani Christians mark one year anniversary of Lahore bombing

This week marks the one year anniversary of the bombing in the Gulsham e-Iqbal Park where a suicide bomber targeted Christians who were celebrating Easter.

The militant, belonging to a branch of the Talbian, killed more than 70 people and injured more 300 others when he detonated a suicide vest near the children's swings.

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Speaking to International Christian Concern, one survivor - named as Tariq - said that he had lost his brother in the attack.

"The Easter day bombing left me alone. My brother always supported me in difficult times; however, after his death I was extremely depressed," he said.

Another survivor, Hassam, lost two daughters and said that the depression she's suffered since has made managing her beauty business almost impossible.

"I lost two daughters on Easter day which affected my health and mental status, but I faced financial crises as well.

"The bombing left me alone in life. I did not feel relaxed or comfortable and experienced mental stress."

"We never thought this [attack] would happen to us. The incident was unbearable and high scale persecution against us."

William Stark, ICC's Regional Manager said, "We remember the victims of the Easter bombing with great sadness. Pakistan continues to be a deadly country for Christians to live and practice their faith.

"Christians not only face deadly attacks like the 2016 Easter bombing or the 2013 All Saints Church bombing, but they must also endure social discrimination and blasphemy laws. Continued assistance that provides long-term development is vital to effectively assist persecuted Christians."

Pakistan is ranked number four on Open Doors' World Watch List for Christian persecution.

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