At least 14 people were killed and over 70 injured in bomb attacks on two churches in Lahore, Pakistan yesterday. A group affiliated with the Taliban, calling itself Jamatul Ahrar, has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Our contacts say that the attacks were performed by suicide bombers. Security teams were able to stop the attackers from entering the church buildings, but the bombs were detonated outside. Both churches, Christ Church and St John’s Catholic Church, are in a Christian neighbourhood of Lahore, Yohanabad.
We have received reports that those killed included children and some security guards who were trying to protect the churches.
“One of the women who was killed was pregnant. She and her husband both lost their lives. We were in the church next door and… my life passed before my eyes and in that moment my first thought was ‘Thank you Lord that we belong to you,'” one of our partners told us.
“I gave thanks that I knew God’s love and that even if I was going to die today it would be in the awareness of Jesus’ love. It kept me going then, but now I am terribly afraid and the sight of blood and broken bodies won’t go away,” another contact shared.
One pastor told us: “I have been praying with people all day that God will give them peace, I have been crying with them, listening to their stories. Now I am so glad you called to pray with me because as soon as I came home the images of blood and body parts filled the space behind my eyelids.”
An angry mob formed following the bombings and killed two suspected militants in retaliation.
Our partners in Pakistan have asked us to pray. One shared: “We are asking for prayer for protection of all priests and church leaders, for those who witnessed the attacks and those who are in hospital with injuries. Also pray for the talks between church leadership and the government taking place at this time. Please pray for Pakistan’s Christians to know the peace and grace of God at this time. We are a church badly wounded tonight.”
Pakistan is number 8 on our World Watch List. Christians make up just 2.5% of the population, and they are frequently attacked and discriminated against.
Source: BBC; Open Doors
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