| At least 17 people were killed and 80 injured in two suicide bomb attacks on churches in Lahore on Sunday. A militant Islamist group claimed responsibility for the attacks. “In that moment my first thought was ‘Thank you Lord that we belong to you,'” one of our partners told us.
The attacks have created a cycle of violence, with Christians rioting and killing two Muslims, which led to a further attack on a Christian. Church leaders are calling for peace; Fr John Nisar, from the Diocese of Lahore, has said: “We must remain peaceful and witness Christ with our own lives.”
Volunteers die to save others
2,000 people were gathered at the two churches that were attacked on Sunday. The death toll could have been higher, but the suicide bombers were prevented from entering the churches by volunteer security members, which may have saved hundreds of lives.
32-year-old Obaid Sardar Khokhar overpowered the attacker who was approaching Christ Church and dragged him away from the entrance. The bomber blew himself up, killing Obaid and his pregnant wife Ambreen.
At St. John’s Catholic Church, 16-year-old Akash Bashir grabbed the leg of the suicide bomber as he attempted to scale the wall of the church. When Akash refused to let go, the attacker detonated his bomb and killed them both, along with several others.
Say yes to supporting your persecuted church family in Pakistan
Pakistan is number 8 on our World Watch List. Just 2.5% of the population are Christians, and Pakistan’s infamous blasphemy laws are often abused to settle personal scores against Christians and other minorities.
Asia Bibi is a Christian mother-of-five who has been imprisoned since 2009 on charges of blasphemy. If you would like to find out how you can support Asia Bibi, email our Inspire team on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
With many thanks for your prayers.
CEO Open Doors UK & Ireland
As you know I have been supporting the Persecuted Church – and Open Doors – for some time past.
Please add your prayers to those of Christians throughout the world who are praying every day to give strength to everyone who is and has been persecuted for their religious beliefs.
With many prayerful blessings