“I write to you the day following the horrific attacks in Lahore. I am still reeling. My friends and family are reeling. My pastor friends came home exhausted and worn from funerals they had taken all day, families they had prayed with, people they had comforted. All of my day was spent hugging those who were aching from the loss of someone precious to them. My country is aching. Your country is probably aching. We can identify with pain and we have just come out of Holy Week and are reminded that He identifies with our pain.” – An Open Doors partner in Pakistan.
Open Doors, working through local partners in Pakistan, is responding to the explosion on Easter Sunday. We spoke to a partner in Lahore, “Since last night, we have been putting together teams of people to go to hospitals and visit with the victims of the attacks.”
“We leave shortly for funerals. Then more trips to hospitals. Please pray that as we make house visits and hospital visits, it will be a mission of the Gospel and resurrection life of Christ that we take with us.”
At least 70 people have been killed, and over 300 injured, in Sunday’s bomb attack at a park in Lahore, Pakistan. The blast was reportedly at the entrance to the Gulshan-e-Iqbal park, close to where cars are normally parked and a short distance from Children’s play equipment.
A Taliban splinter group, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, have said, “We claim responsibility for the attack on Christians as they were celebrating Easter” (Express Tribune, Pakistan).
It’s normal for families to visit parks on Easter Sunday evening, our partner tells us. She remembers going there herself as a child. She says, “…everyone thought with all the church services for the day having concluded without incident, they could rest and not worry.”
Our partners are asking for your prayers in this time. For them, this attack is reminiscent of the 2013 attacks on a church in Peshawar, North West Pakistan. Twin suicide bombs detonated in the All Saints Anglican Church, killing 85. At the time, it was the deadliest attack ever on Christians in Pakistan.
“Pray for our teams… We are overwhelmed by the stories and the grief we are hearing. We feel like Peshawar 2013 is happening all over again. The pain from that is not over yet.”
Pakistan ranks as the 6th most dangerous place to be a Christian on the World Watch List. It also has the highest score possible in the category of violence (as a means of persecution).
We urge you to pray with us, for our brothers and sisters in Pakistan and for that nation.
- Pray for the safety of our partners working in this dangerous area. Pray that they will continue to show Christs’ love to those who mourning, as they themselves are mourning too.
- Pray for the victims who have lost loved ones and family members. Pray that God would comfort them in this time.
- Pray the extremists behind the attacks will see it is Christ who they are persecuting, and repent of their actions.
Open Doors works with partners in Pakistan and places where faith costs the most. To give to our ministry, click here.