Pakistan Christmas Church Attack
On Sunday night a church in Pakistan was attacked.
At least nine people have been killed and more than 50 have been injured. Islamic State have claimed responsibility of the attack.
According to witnesses, two Islamic State militants entered Bethel Memorial Methodist Church in Quetta—about 40 miles from the Afghan border—with two suicide vests on Sunday, December 17.
"Some of our Bible College students have lost family members too. Just now, a woman wept on my shoulder. She just kept repeating ‘Lord, have mercy, have mercy, have mercy’, and then, ‘Lord enable us to lift our voices and cry out ‘Jesus is Lord!’ so that we may stand and not be stopped from being in church. They cannot stop us!’” - Open Doors partner.
Image: Church members flee - around 400 people were at the church service when the bomb went off. Source: Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Security stopped the attackers at the entrance where one man detonated his suicide vest. The other was killed by police.
Christmas Is An Increased Time Of Persecution
In Pakistan, many churches have increased security in the days leading up to Christmas. And in this case, the bombing could have been even worse if the militants had made it inside where a gathering of 400 church members worshipped.
Source: Naseer Ahmed/Reuters
Open Doors works in Pakistan through a local network of churches called ALIVE. None of the team members of our partners were injured, but some had family members inside during the attack.
“Obviously the situation is very chaotic and we fear more lives have been lost than the news is reporting,” says one of the ALIVE leaders.
Our partners also said the attack was meant to frighten Christians away from church during Christmas.
Here’s Two Ways You Can Help
• Pray for Christians in Pakistan, for their physical and spiritual protection. Pray that their faith to follow Jesus will be strengthened.
• Pray for God to equip the ALIVE team in Pakistan to give them the strength to minister to the hurting.
Christians are at high risk of attacks during Christmas. We don’t know if there’ll be other attacks this Christmas, but we want to be ready.
Your donation will go to the most urgent need worldwide, in instances of unexpected persecution where an immediate response is needed.
This is the most effective way you can support the persecuted church, especially during times of increased pressure.