While Malala Yousafzai, a 14-year-old girl shot in the head in a Taliban attack, is struggling between life and death in a specialized hospital in London, the Pakistani nation is shaken and seems to have found unity. As reported to the Fides news service, Muslims and Christians are praying for her healing. Across the country, churches, civil society and human rights organizations have organized meetings and prayer vigils. The Taliban Muslim terrorists who shot her now vow to kill her should she recover. 

The Council for Interreligious Dialogue organized a prayer meeting in Lahore led by Catholic priests Fr. Francis Nadeem and Fr.James Channan. In addition, more than 75 religious leaders of different faiths (Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs) have condemned the attack and relaunched their commitment to the growth, education and development of marginalized communities, saying "no" to the Talibanisation of the country. "Malala is a light among the shadows of illiteracy, poverty and terrorism," they said, noting that "her work is in the spirit of Islam and all other religions of the world."

The two NGOs of Christian inspiration, "Masihi Foundation Pakistan" and "Life for All", organized a celebration in the Cathedral of Lahore, where women and children lit candles to express solidarity with Malala. "Malala - said Rizwan Paul of "Life for All "- has become a symbol of unity and peace. Today she is an inspiration to reiterate the importance of education for all." The assembly stressed that "in opposing the Taliban ideology, Malala has shown more courage than the government of Pakistan."

In a joint statement sent to Fides, the two NGOs say: "Rimsha Masih and Malala Yousafzai, both 14 year olds are today a symbol of change for Pakistan: they have given to the nation the opportunity to rethink about blasphemy and extremism. For the Pakistani society it is time to choose between a life of fear or a courageous commitment against extremism. The example was given by two 14-year-old girls."

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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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