The three girls in the picture are reading the Story of Jesus in Urdu. Two suicide bombers killed all three when they destroyed the girls’ church in Peshawar, Pakistan which took the lives of 100 men, women and children. Additionally, 150 were injured, many of whom are still hospitalized.
In their report to us, our allies in Peshawar began with this verse:
But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. ‘Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.’… For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than doing evil” (1 Peter 3:14, 17).
Our partners in areas such as Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, North Sudan, North Korea, and Syria live in constant danger. Imprisonment and death for sharing the Gospel is always a threat, and rarely makes the news.
However the attack on All Saints Church in Kohati Gate, Peshwar made international headlines. On that Sunday, services had ended and 500 congregants were sharing in a community meal. The two suicide bombers entered the building at 11:45 a.m. and 30 seconds later proceeded to detonate their suicide jackets. Bodies, bloodied and mangled, were scattered throughout the vicinity. Tragically, it took rescue teams time to reach the area—and then doctors were absent from the hospital. Cries from the wounded could be heard throughout the neighborhood.
Those in the small faith community ran to Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar looking for relatives. Christians from around the region rushed in to donate blood and help the injured.
Pastors and church leaders stayed with the injured, and prayed and read the Word of God over them. By late evening, 23 funerals were conducted by area pastors in three separate graveyards.
Pakistan’s Taliban (Jind Ullah) group claimed responsibility, saying it had set up a new faction, Junood ul-Hifsa, to kill foreigners and to avenge U.S. drone strikes on the Taliban and Al-Qaeda operatives.
Only two percent of Pakistan’s population of 193 million is Christian. Persecution is growing; discrimination is written into law. In March of this year, two churches and 100 Christian homes were burned in Lahore. One major concern is a new blasphemy law. It’s used mostly against non-Muslims, is based purely on accusation, and often involves personal grudges or business disputes. Before anyone can be arrested, vigilante justice takes over and the accused is beaten or murdered. Just a rumor of speaking against Allah or the Koran can get someone lynched.
David C Cook works with ministry leaders on the ground in Pakistan. We equip them with the evangelistic Story of Jesus, customize it to their needs, and gather reports on the specific outreach.
Please lift up Pakistan as you feel led. We’ve included prayer requests from our partner in Pakistan.
- Pray for the comfort for the families impacted by the attack.
- Pray the injured recover.
- Pray for the safety of churches and Christians in Pakistan as they already are experiencing more threats of attacks. Area church leaders have a plan to help affected families. Pray for the provision of resources.