As they started their car to leave, two assassins on a motorbike drove up beside them and opened fire. William, a senior lay leader who led worship at three area parishes, was shot in the head and killed instantly, while Reverend Naeem, leader of All Saints Church parish, was severely injured. The assassins sped off, and Reverend Naeem was rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment. A third church leader in the car was unharmed.
No group or organization has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, and there is currently a manhunt underway for the two gunmen. However, the northwest part of the city where the attack took place—even the very church site—is an area all too familiar to Islamic extremist violence against Christians.
In September 2013, as more than 600 congregants were leaving All Saints Anglican Church (where Shaheedan-e-All Saints Church was built as a memorial), two suicide bombers killed 127 people (including children) and injured another 250 more. That day, William Siraj lost his son-in-law in the attack. A Pakistani branch of the Taliban (TTP) took responsibility for that bombing.
Pakistan is No. 8 on Open Doors’ 2022 World Watch List