Barnabas Aid - International Headquarters River Street, Pewsey, Wilthire. Phone: +44 1672 565030 Latitude: 51 deg 23 min 18 sec N Longitude: 1 deg 45 min 48 sec W .
Personal tragedy behind each of 85 death...

Email:

Personal tragedy behind each of 85 deaths in Pakistan church bombing

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

Personal tragedy behind each of 85 deaths in Pakistan church bombing

Project(s): 00-345

Country/Region: South and East Asia, Pakistan

By Wilson Saraj, Barnabas Aid’s projects manager

Behind the staggering death toll of the worst-ever attack on Pakistan’s Christian community are many faces that I knew personally, having grown up in All Saints Church, Peshawar, where my relatives continue to worship. The church was targeted in a double suicide bombing on Sunday (22 September), which left scores of Christians dead and injured.    

Christians have staged protests throughout Pakistan this week
Christians have staged protests throughout Pakistan this week

The official tally stands at 85 dead, but is almost certainly much higher, as some relatives recovered the bodies of their loved ones before they were accounted for. And more may yet die as some of the injured remain in a critical condition and the local hospital struggles under the strain of so many severely wounded.

Yesterday (25 September), the Archbishop of Canterbury described them all as “martyrs”.

Each statistic tells an individual story of intense tragedy. William, a man of a similar age to me, with whom I remember playing cricket as a lad, was killed along with his son and daughter. His wife is in a critical condition in hospital and does not yet know that her family has been murdered.

Their son, Noel, aged around 22/23, was a medical student, having worked extremely hard to gain the qualifications necessary to train as a doctor. William himself was a very intelligent man; he was the principal of the local government school. It is very rare in Pakistan for Christians, who are heavily discriminated against and generally restricted to low-paid menial work, to rise to such a position. This family was a credit to the Christian community and a blessing to wider society.  

Khalid, a good friend of mine – we grew up on the same street – was also taken from us in this horrific attack. He was the main breadwinner for his family, and I do not know how they are going to cope without him.

Naiher (8) and her brother Eshan (11) were both killed in the bomb blast
Naiher (8) and her brother Eshan (11) were both killed in the bomb blast

Naiher (8) was killed along with her brother, Eshan (11), both pictured, and their grandmother. Children are the future for their families and the Church; what will tomorrow hold for them?

It will take some time for those involved to recover from the trauma. Zaveria (22) was momentarily blinded when something hit her on the head during the blast. The impact knocked her to the ground. She described the dreadful scene she saw when her vision returned: dead bodies on the floor, body parts flying through the air, her own mother lying on the ground unconscious. Zaveria suffered a severe head injury, and her mother is in a serious condition. Their psychological scars may well run deeper than their physical ones.

Christians have this week staged protests across Pakistan, understandably calling for better protection in the wake of the All Saints bombing, which was the single greatest tragedy to have ever afflicted the Church in Pakistan.

It has brought with it a growing sense of despair as to the future of the Church. We face not only discrimination, marginalisation, persecution and violence but also endemic poverty; our Christian community is one of the poorest in the country. 

In the midst of their grief however, victims of the All Saints bombing have also talked of forgiveness and expressed determination to continue practising their faith, despite the danger. Pakistani Christians have remained faithful to Christ over the years, seeking to worship Him, follow Him and serve Him.

All Saints will hold a service on Sunday morning as usual, in defiance of the extremists who are trying to suppress Christianity in Pakistan.

The church has asked us to pray for healing and peace for everyone affected by Sunday’s attack. Please continue to remember them in your prayers as the news agenda moves on to other matters.

Barnabas Aid will be helping the victims with practical means to rebuild their lives.  

We at Barnabas Fund were already supporting many very needy Christian families from Peshawar, some of whom attend All Saints Church and were caught up in the blast, through our feeding programme in Pakistan; this provision helps the poorest Christians to break free from poverty and provide a better future for their children.

Thank you for your support and prayers.

Give Today

If you would like to help those who have been affected by this attack, please send a donation to the Victims of Violence Fund (project 00-345). using our secure server.

If you prefer to telephone, dial: 0800 587 4006 from within the UK or +44 1672 565031 from outside the UK. Please quote project reference Victims of Violence Fund (project 00-345).

If you prefer to send a cheque by post: Click this link for the address of our regional office. Please quote project reference Victims of Violence Fund (project 00-345).

For a quick donation of £3.00 by SMS (see terms and conditions here) text Barnabas/345 to 70007 (Please note: This facility is presently only available to UK supporters).

Help us: Share this article

Email:

Personal tragedy behind each of 85 deaths in Pakistan church bombing

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

Other articles

Follow Barnabas

or

receive news & appeal emails as they are published

From Twitter

From Twitter_icon
  • Christians driven out of Maaloula by Islamist rebels long to return after its recapture by the Syrian army http://ow.ly/vTrgN Thu, Apr 2014 16:37

  • Islamic parties make unexpected gains in Indonesian elections http://ow.ly/vR60m Wed, Apr 2014 16:46

  • Former counter-terrorism chief to lead inquiry into alleged Islamist takeover of Birmingham schools http://ow.ly/vOn9I Tue, Apr 2014 17:01

  • Condemned Christian mother Aasia Bibi's appeal hearing- set for today- deferred for third time in Pakistan http://ow.ly/vLEkf Mon, Apr 2014 16:03

Daily prayer

Daily prayer_icon
  • Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we give You thanks on this Easter Day for the living hope that You have given us and all Your people through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (1 Peter 1:3). We pray that the prospect of an enduring inheritance and future salvation will encourage our persecuted brothers and sisters to persevere in their faith, whatever may happen to them. We pray that we too may be sustained by this hope in the sufferings that we experience for the sake of Christ. We ask that the joy and resurrection power of the Lord will give strength and peace to persecuted believers today and every day. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 20 hours ago

  • Give thanks for the Christ-like responses of Christian leaders in CAR to the crisis that threatens them and their churches. They have distanced themselves from the anti-balaka militias, saying that these should not be labelled as Christian and that they hold no mandate from the churches. The leaders have also condemned the violence in the country, whatever its origin, and have called on Christians to pursue forgiveness, reconciliation and healing. Churches are hiding, defending and caring for thousands of Muslims endangered by the anti-balaka, and one of CAR’s most senior church leaders has invited the president of the country’s Islamic community to move into his church compound. Pray that this powerful witness to the grace and love of Christ will help to bring peace to the shattered country. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sat, Apr 2014 00:00

  • On this Good Friday, give thanks to God for the death of Christ and for His gift of eternal life. Praise Him too for the example of those Christians who have persevered in their faith at the risk of their lives and who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of Christ and the Gospel. Pray that their martyrdom will inspire their suffering brothers and sisters in Christ to endure whatever hardships befall them and will convince their persecutors of the truth and power of the Gospel. Pray too that their bereaved families and churches will not grieve without hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Fri, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Cry out to the Lord for Christians in the Central African Republic (CAR) who have been driven from their homes by the violence that has engulfed their country. Attacks by Islamist Séléka militants and retaliation from “anti-balaka” militias has generated a huge humanitarian crisis in which around two million people, many of them Christians, are in need of emergency assistance. Give thanks for the work of Barnabas partners who have been providing food rations to hundreds of displaced believers in the capital, Bangui, and distributing food, medicines, clothing and seeds to thousands in various regions. Pray that the aid will reach those who need it most, and that the Lord will comfort the relatives and friends of the thousands who have been killed in the fighting. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Apr 2014 00:00

  • “Jesus Christ performed tremendous miracles in all our lives through this Shalom Camp.” A pastor spoke of how God had worked through a Barnabas-sponsored weekend Bible camp for persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka. The camp was attended by believers from five different churches that had been the target of threats or attacks by Buddhist or Hindu extremists. The participants heard teaching on the Biblical basis for persecution and took part in group discussions; they came away refreshed and encouraged, and for many the camp was a time of great spiritual renewal. Give thanks to the Lord for the peace He has brought to these persecuted believers, and ask that the weekend will continue to bear much fruit in their lives. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Apr 2014 00:00

© Barnabas Aid 1997 - 2014 All rights reserved.
Barnabas Aid is a registered trade mark