Saturday, September 22, 2018

Today is the 5th Anniversary of Devastating Church Bombing in Pakistan

130 Christians killed and 600 Injured

09/22/18  International Christian Concern (ICC) and Pakistan’s Christian community are commemorating the martyrs of Peshawar’s All Saints Church bombing five years after the attack. The All Saints Church bombing is the deadliest attack on Christians in Pakistan’s independent history, with more than 130 Christians killed and 600 requiring immediate medical attention.

At 11:45 a.m. on September 22, 2013, two suicide bombers associated with the Pakistani Taliban detonated in the church’s courtyard. The church, established in 1883 and considered one of the oldest Christian institutions in the city, had just concluded its Sunday service. Hundreds of church members were gathered in the courtyard when the bombs exploded.

Although five years have passed since the attack, the agony and suffering of the families still linger as three more people joined the list of martyrs as a result of their injuries over the past five years. These martyrs include Zamir, Cecilia, and Farah.

The victims’ families still struggle to survive each day. Shumaila Robin, a widow with two children, said, “I don’t believe five years have [passed] without Robin, my husband. It seems he is around. However, it’s reality. Living without a life-partner is a challenge and bringing up two children is a great responsibility. I often meditate, what if it would have not happened?

Fahmeeda William, who spent roughly three years in bed due to severe injuries, described her reaction, “I don’t want to recall those moments of destruction. Even after five years of that bloody attack, I still feel my body shakes, my ears shut down, and my heart stops pumping. I have nothing more to lose as the attack damaged my whole life. I buried three members of my family and becoming [a] widow is unbearable and an agony.”

While speaking with ICC, Ishaq John, a lay-pastor at All Saints Church in Peshawar, expressed his dissatisfaction with the security arrangements and lack of compensation that was promised by authorities.

John said, “A few policemen are deputed around the church building every Sunday. However, these steps are not adequate nor is the security personnel serious in their focus. We were expecting more concern by the newly elected government, however we haven’t seen a notable change in the behaviors or protecting religious minorities and their places of worships. Therefore, Christians are still under fearful atmosphere, and they feel [like they are] living in isolation and a rejected group of people by the majority.” 

John informed ICC that two events will be taking place this year on the fifth anniversary to commemorate the martyrs, including a memorial prayer service at 11:45 a.m., the exact time when the bombers attacked. The church will be singing worship songs in the evening and renowned Gospel singers will perform to commemorate the martyrs.

----- This article is from a press release by International Christian Concern (ICC), You can visit their website at  https://www.persecution.org/