Abish was ten years old when he was injured in the attack on the Catholic Church in Yohannabad on Sunday, 15 March 2015 and died shortly afterwards in hospital.
On that Sunday, two terrorists, who belonged to an Islamist movement responsible for other attacks against Christians, blew themselves up and Abish, who was on the lawn in front of the church, was injured in the explosion. He was probably playing or waiting to enter mass. He was certainly killed because he was a Christian. With him, 15 other people lost their lives.
The church hit by the bombing is located in the same neighbourhood where the Community of Sant’Egidio has its School of Peace, a free after-school programme that Abish attended every week together with other Christian and Muslim children. The place where the attack took place is a suburb of Lahore, home to 100,000 Protestant and Catholic Christians, who preferred to settle in this neighbourhood in search of greater security. It is a former missionary village dedicated to Saint John. With the growth of Lahore, the suburb has been incorporated into the urban periphery, but has remained a very poor area. There are 4 million Christians in Pakistan (2% of the population), a poor, poorly educated and marginalised minority. They are therefore an easy target, always under threat.