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Pakistan: 'He was my brother' - the grief of Pakistan's Christians

30 March 2016

'He was my brother' - the grief of Pakistan's Christians

Funerals have been taking place of the victims of the bomb attack in Lahore on Easter Sunday.

One of our partners attended the funeral of one of the victims. He reports that, at his feet, a little boy curled up and would not let go of the coffin.

"People tried to move him away and tell him to let them put the coffin into the ground. People were spent from tears and crying and yet found some energy to dig the graves of their loved ones. The little boy would not let go and wept. I asked the family to let him hold the coffin a little more and then he looked at me and we locked eyes before he said, 'He was my brother after all'. No translation can capture the fullness of the passion that child's voice and eyes held as he spoke in strong Punjabi to me."

Threats of more violence - even to those in hospital

The Pakistan military have launched operations against terrorism in the Punjab, but there is anxiety that this may rebound on Christians.

"While they are uncovering terrorists and IS hideouts and their networks," says our source, "the concern is that, in retaliation, terror groups are suggesting and even threatening that they will lash out and attack minority groups, women and children, which means schools, parks and places of worship of non-Muslim groups."

Partners of Open Doors have been able to visit patients in hospital, which is not easy, because with so much media attention, the hospitals are getting overwhelmed. And even visiting the injured carries risk.

"One lab technician visited us after hours to tell us 'All of them are Christians, no one will tell you that though.' Hospitals are under heavy scrutiny and there are concerns because Christians who are alive in hospital can pose a threat in that the terrorist organisations may return to finish a job they feel is left incomplete. Please pray for their safety and for those nurses, doctors and lay people who are visiting and praying with people. This is only the beginning."

Yet despite the threats and the difficulties, our partners are going in to pray with the victims.

"Many to listen to. Many to pray with. Many tears to weep together," says our source.

Please continue to pray for the situation for Christians in Pakistan. And remember Asia Bibi, the Christian mother who has now been incarcerated for nearly seven years on blasphemy charges.

"Her life hangs by a thread in all this," says our source. "Please pray for her safety and for amnesty. Before our God nothing is impossible. She must be released."

STAND WITH YOUR CHURCH FAMILY IN PAKISTAN

• Give. In cooperation with local churches and other partnering ministries, Open Doors supports the church in Pakistan through training, emergency aid to victims of violent persecution, women's ministry, Bible literacy, counselling and trauma therapy. You can support our work with your gifts.

• Pray. Use the prayer points below, or this prayerpdf for Lahore and cities in distress, and consider sharing them with your church or small group.

Source: Open Doors

Please pray:

  • For protection for Christians in Pakistan, especially those who are in hospital
  • That the government will be able to bring order and security to this area
  • Pray for Open Doors partners. Our source reports that 'they are shaken up but NOT overcome by fear'. Pray for courage and hope.

More News from Pakistan:

Find out more about persecution in Pakistan.