Critically-wounded missionary to Pakistan flown home

By December 11, 2012

Pakistan (MNN) — Birgitta Almeby's condition has not improved after being critically wounded on December 3rd in Lahore, Pakistan, when two gunmen shot her as she came home from work.

Using a medical air ambulance, officials flew the72-year-old Swedish Christian worker home yesterday for specialist treatment. Jinnah Hospital officials say she's still on a ventilator. Spokesman for the Full Gospel Assemblies, Pastor Liaquat Qaiser, confirmed her condition as "serious" and indicated her care in Sweden would be dedicated to her rehabilitation and recovery.

Almeby spent the last 38 years working in Pakistan, the most recent years with the Full Gospel Assemblies, a "church fellowship" with congregations all over the world. The group runs a technical training institute, an adult literacy center, and an orphanage in Pakistan. The Full Gospel Assemblies Church of Pakistan is considered the oldest church Pentecostal church in the country.

As a result, they are well known. Christian religious leaders associated with Full Gospel Assemblies Church Pakistan (FGACP) had been receiving life threats from some religious fanatics. The News International said both Christian leaders were accused of committing blasphemy after raising the issue of misuse of the blasphemy law in a meeting with some religious leaders.

Police are investigating, but no suspects have been identified. However, officials say early suspicion points to the Punjabi Taliban. According to Assist News, the key components of the Punjabi Taliban include at least eight al-Qaeda-linked Sunni-sectarian jihadi.

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