The National Catholic Review
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A senior police official in Pakistan acknowledged that security forces failed in their duty to protect the victims of anti-Christian violence in Gojra one year ago. The senior official spoke to 2,500 people gathered on Aug. 1 to mark the first anniversary of some of Pakistan’s worst anti-Christian violence. Addressing the crowds in the Punjabi city of Gojra, prominent local Muslims deplored the mob violence that left eight people dead and described the culprits as unworthy to be called Muslims. Amid tight security and a high police presence, Bishop Joseph Coutts of Faisalabad presided at a memorial Mass held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Gojra. The bishop lit candles for each of those who died in the violence, including a family of seven killed in their home. On Aug. 1, 2009, a rumor that Christians had been seen desecrating the Koran sparked an Islamist armed attack on the Christian quarter of Gojra and the burning of more than 50 homes.

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