Message of peace from Grangemouth minister whose mother was killed by terrorists

A Grangemouth minister whose mother was killed in a terrorist attack stood up in Holyrood and urged people to forget their differences and live together in peace.

Reverend Aftab Gohar lost his 79-year-old mother along with other relatives and friends when terrorists blew up a Christian church in Pakistan back in 2013.

Back then the man of God, who has served as the minister for Abbotsgrange Church since 2010, found the strength in his heart to forgive the people who carried out this horrific act and he preached a similar message of peace at the Scottish Parliament this week.

Addressing MSPs, he said: “Personally, I have experienced the loss of my mum, nieces, nephews, cousins, uncles, aunts and friends in a double suicide attack at my home church in Peshawar, Pakistan in 2013.

“We can see a lot of mass killings throughout the world even today, especially in countries like Myanmar, Sudan, Nigeria, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Iraq, USA, Israel and Palestine, all on the basis of religion, colour, race and language.

“Have we ever thought about the cause of this hatred, fighting and killing? For me the main reason for this is lack of tolerance. The problem is many people judge others on their religion, race, colour, language, ability or disability.

“If we all learn tolerance, then we can see a real peace and harmony around us. We need to accept others as they are and live with them peacefully.”