Over 130 people have been killed this morning in an attack on a school in Pehsawar, Pakistan. The Taliban, an extremist Islamic militia with strong roots in North Pakistan and neighbouring Afghanistan have claimed responsibility, saying the attack was a result of recent government attacks on Taliban groups in the area.
They are the facts we know… but just think for a minute – gunmen enter a school, fully armed and with the intention of killing as many students and teachers as possible. The school was run by the army, seemingly justifying it as a target.
How can we respond to something so wrong, so evil, so devastating? It’s just too much… The hatred and anger motivating such an attack seems unfathomable. It’s almost too big to challenge. Can things ever change?
Ordinary Pakistani’s are trying to do just that. The hospital treating many of the injured has put out calls for blood donors – the BBC is retweeting pictures of crowds of people outside the hospital hoping to donate. In the face of such terror, they are saying no. These people, the normal, everyday Pakistani’s want life, not death.
This attack wasn’t about persecution of Christians – we don’t know how many (if any) are Christians. This was part of the tit for tat of an ongoing war claiming more and more lives. But we do know Peshawar and its church community isn’t a stranger to the violence of the Taliban. Last year 127 people were killed in a twin suicide bomb attack on All Saints Church.
This is the latest in a long line of viscous and horrific attacks by the Taliban against all those who oppose them. Remember Malala – shot for being an educated girl. She’s made this comment:
“I am heartbroken by this senseless and cold blooded act of terror in Peshawar that is unfolding before us. Innocent children in their school have no place in horror such as this. I condemn these atrocious and cowardly acts and stand united with the government and armed forces of Pakistan whose efforts so far to address this horrific event are commendable. I, along with millions of others around the world, mourn these children, my brothers and sisters – but we will never be defeated.”
Let’s pray that many more Malala’s come through today safely…
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.