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

    Daily prayer

    Daily prayer_icon
    • Since General al-Sisi became President of Egypt in June, Christians in the country have felt the pressure upon them ease off somewhat. However, a convert from Islam, Bishoy Armia Boulous, previously known as Mohammed Hegazy, remains in prison. He was rearrested on 4 December 2013, charged with defaming Islam after he fi led a public lawsuit to change the religious affiliation listed on his national identification card from Muslim to Christian. Please pray that there will be genuine religious liberty for Christians from a Muslim background as well as those born into Christian families. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 19 hours ago

    • Lift up in prayer Christians living in Minya, Egypt whose homes were attacked on 5 August by local Muslims. The violence broke out after Muslims learned that believers in Yaacoub planned to build a new church. Opposition to construction of church buildings is one of the most common reasons behind anti-Christian attacks Scores of Egyptian churches were attacked following the removal of Mohammed Morsi by Muslims in Egypt. Restrictions on the building of churches, a cause of hardship for Christians for many years, were lifted in Egypt’s recent new constitution. Pray that the assailants will be brought to justice and that the plans for the local church building will continue. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Give thanks that ten Egyptian churches destroyed in anti-Christian attacks last year have now been reopened. Around 60 churches across Egypt were attacked by Islamists in the summer of 2013. The assaults were provoked by the ouster of former president Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. Although the current Egyptian government has promised to rebuild all the damaged churches, most of the Christians have not yet received aid and some are worshipping in ruined buildings. Pray that the rebuilding process will continue and that the Lord will protect His people in Egypt, especially while they are still meeting in damaged buildings. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Dear Lord Jesus, we ask Your blessing on the thousands of Eritrean Christian refugees who have fled from escalating anti-Christian persecution in their home country, and are being detained in prisons in Egypt. Because they are Your followers, they face horrific treatment. We pray especially for women and men who have been raped in prison, and for those who have been kept chained for months, suffering hunger, torture and abuse. You said that You had been sent to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and to set the oppressed free. Please free these faithful ones, who suffer for Your Name (Luke 4:18, 21). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Oct 2014 00:00

    • “We had this feeling that jihadists wanted to wipe out any trace of Christianity in the north of Mali. But God in His goodness has not allowed such an eventuality,” said Dr Yattara, the president of the Baptist Church in northern Mali, to World Watch Monitor in September. He was describing how most of the Christians who had fled the region when Islamist radicals took control in 2012 have now returned to their homes after French troops ousted the Islamists. Many church buildings were desecrated, looted or severely damaged, but the Christians are determined to resume their ministries. Praise God for the continued Christian presence in northern Mali, for the courage of the Christians and for the religious liberty that they have under the law. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Oct 2014 00:00

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