On Sunday March 15, two suicide bombings targeted churches in the Youhanabad area of Lahore, Pakistan. The bombings took place at St. John’s Catholic Church and Christ Church, leaving at least 14 people dead and over 70 wounded.
These attacks are thought to be the worst Pakistan has witnessed since the September 2013 bombing that killed 82 people in Peshawar. According to CNN, a spokesperson for the Taliban took responsibility for the attacks and declared that such attacks will continue until Sharia law is implemented throughout the country.
Christians make up less than 2 percent of the population in Pakistan, so the effects of this tragedy have been strongly felt within the Christian community. One member of this community is Crossroad student Ibrahim,* who assisted the injured in the wake of the bombings and helped with a blood drive for the victims.
Ibrahim enrolled in Crossroad’s Bible study program as an international student while incarcerated; he has since been released and has continued his studies in Great Truths of the Bible. “This student has great faith,” remarked Don, one of Ibrahim’s Instructors.
After the attack, violence again erupted as Christians took to the streets to riot. Rioters killed two people whom they suspected carried out the attacks, and many Christians were arrested in the ensuing chaos. According to Ibrahim, around 80 percent of Christians in Youhanabad have now fled their homes.
Ibrahim told Crossroad’s international coordinator Jacob Busscher that despite many threats, the Christians are not afraid. He cited Matthew 10:28—“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.” Ibrahim’s church was able to hold a Palm Sunday church service two weeks after the attacks, but Ibrahim requests more prayer for continued safety.
With Resurrection Sunday still fresh in our hearts and minds, let us all repent of human sin and its sometimes violent repercussions. And let us pray that our Savior, who delivered us from death, will deliver the persecuted church around the world and bring the peace of His kingdom to all peoples.
*Name has been changed.