Pakistan (MNN) — Two suicide blasts occurred in Pakistan, leaving 76 people dead and 110 injured. It is the second suicide attack within three days in Pakistan–a sign that the terrorist activities have reached a new height. This comes following President Pervez Musharraf's resignation this week. The uncertainty of who will replace him is creating economic concern.
Todd Nettleton with
Voice of the Martyrs says Christians are uncertain. "The party that is in power is the party of Benazir Bhutto. Many of the Christians felt like (the party) would offer more protection to them, more protection for their churches, more freedom to worship. So I think the hope is that this party would follow through on some of [Bhutto's] ideas and ideals."
Nettleton says in at least one part of Pakistan, the government is weak. "In northwest Pakistan, the area where al-Qaeda is known to hang out, the government really does not have control in those areas. And those are some of the areas where the worst persecution is taking place."
While uncertainty abounds, Nettleton says Christians need to get involved. He says prayer is most important. "Some of the groups that we are working closely with in Pakistan are the really bold, outspoken witnesses for Christ. [These] are guys who are talking to Muslims, [and] in some cases, going to mosques."
Nettleton says you can give tangible help through Action Packs — vacuum-sealed bags that can be fillede with "items of clothing — socks, hats, a small blanket, sweaters, and other items that can be a blessing to a family there."
About 250,000 Action Packs have already been sent overseas, and it's an exciting program, says Nettleton. "Some of the Christians who receive these packs actually in turn share them with Muslim neighbors. And, literally, we have seen churches planted just through that outreach. [Christians] say, 'Hey, we got these; we want to share them with you.'"
That provides Pakistani Christian opportunities to share their faith.
Nettleton says although there is uncertainty, Christian are optimistic. "We know the end of the story. The reality is between now and the end of the story, we know there's going to be suffering. We know there are Christians in Pakistan who will be attacked, beaten and even killed because they wear Christ's name."
In the midst of that suffering, many are coming to Christ, and churches are being planted and growing.