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Victims of suicide bombers in Pakistan are ‘Christian martyrs,’ says Archbishop of Canterbury

By on Thursday, 26 September 2013

Archbishop Welby has also condemned Pakistan's blasphemy laws (CNS)

Archbishop Welby has also condemned Pakistan's blasphemy laws (CNS)

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said that victims of an attack on a church in Peshawar, Pakistan, should be considered Christian martyrs.

Speaking to Radio 4′s, The World At One, Archbishop Welby said: “I think Christians have been attacked in some cases simply because of their faith.

“I think it is true to say in All Saints Peshawar that we have seen more than 80 martyrs in the last few days.

“They have been attacked because they were testifying to their faith in Jesus Christ by going to church and that is outside any acceptable expression in any circumstances for any reason of religious differences.”

Archbishop Welby also attacked Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. He said: “”The laws were brought in some time ago and their application varies from time to time but they have been often used in ways that seem to us to be unjust and targeting minorities, and being used as an excuse to attack minorities.

“And it’s in these sorts of areas that we call on the government and the security forces to ensure that all people are treated equally under the law.”

At least 80 people were killed in the double suicide bombing at the All Saints church in Peshawar as congregation members left Sunday Mass.