On 5 February, St Andrew's hosted a service to honour the memory of those killed when Shanti Nagar was attacked and set on fire by militant extremists on February 6, 1997. The church has since established the Shanti Nagar St Andrew's Trust, a charitable trust providing financial, material, and moral support to the current residents of the village.
The annual commemoration is organised by Martin Bashforth and Saleem Dutt.
Martin Bashforth led the event. Special guests included the three Bradford MPs Imran Hussain, Naz Shah, and Judith Cummins; Mohammed Rafiq Sehgal, president of the Bradford Council for Mosques and community activist Asif Khan. Naz Shah and Judith Cummins lit candles as prayers were said for the community of Shanti Nagar and also for all people of persecuted minority faiths.
Mr Hussain MP, who delivered a speech as part of the service, said: "Religious minorities, both Christians and Muslims, are still being persecuted for their beliefs. The international community must do more to stop these injustices happening. We must never turn a blind eye. Hatred and injustice will never be tolerated."
We were very pleased also to welcome Majors David and Lynne Wade of the Salvation Army. The Army has been in Shanti Nagar for 100 years, this year. David and Lynne served for 8 years in Pakistan, quite near to Shanti Nagar.
Saleem D, St Andrew’s