The World Council of Churches has registered with Pakistan Prime Minister Naraz Sharif its dismay at the recent wave of violence that has claimed nearly 150 lives. In an Oct. 3 letter to Sharif, council General Secretary Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit said the council’s 345 member churches, representing 500 million Christians, are “deeply disturbed by the present environment of growing terrorism and religious rage and intolerance in Pakistan that has given rise to such attacks.”

Nearly 90 people were killed on Sept. 22 in a bomb attack on All Saints Anglican Church in Peshawar. On Sept. 27, a bus bomb killed 19, and on Sept. 29 a bomb in a Peshawar market killed more than 40 people.

Tveit said the council has “serious concern about the safety and security of the religious minorities in Pakistan during [the] highly charged situation of growing religious extremism.” The letter urges that “all necessary measures be undertaken to provide safety and security of the vulnerable communities, especially the religious communities who are facing constant threat to their lives”.

The Presbyterian Church of Pakistan, encompassing 340 congregations and 400,000 people, and the 500,000-member Church of Pakistan are members of the world council.