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One killed and five injured gunmen attack during Easter Service in Pakistan.

By March 30, 2005

Pakistan (MNN/VOM) — Christians in Pakistan are asking believers around the world to pray for safety in wake of violence over the weekend in that most Muslim nation. Voice of the Martyrs, Canada reports the Easter morning church service of the Victory Church International (also known as the New Apostolic Church) in the village of Khambay near Lahore, Pakistan was disrupted as four armed gunmen opened fire on the church property, killing one Christian worshipper and injuring six others. Killed was Arshad Masih, a young husband and father of a one-year-old daughter.

According to reports, members of a Muslim family who had long been opponents of the congregation entered the church property at about 10:00 a.m. as the congregation was worshipping and began shooting. Some reports indicate that there were children playing outside. Arshad Masih was reportedly shot and killed as he went outside the church building to find out what was happening. Six other believers including Pervez Masih, Naeem Masih, Arshed Masih, Ismael Masih, and two others also came out from church and the attackers also fired on them. The attackers then fled.

VOM sources report that Muhammad Mukhtar Dogar, Muhammad Sardar Dogar and Muhammad Malki Dogar have been arrested in connection with the attack,
While two other suspects are still at large. The injured are in hospital in Lahore, one of them in critical condition.

This incident comes after a weekend of threats by the Dogar family against the congregation. The 150-member church was forced to cancel their Good Friday and Saturday night services when the family threatened to kill anyone who came to the church. The Dogar family is apparently seeking to take possession of the land that New Apostolic Church and its graveyard has been located on for the last century.

Remember to pray for Arshad Masih’s wife, Fozia, as she grieves the loss of her husband. Pray for those in hospital, especially those who are seriously wounded. Pray that those responsible will be brought to justice. Pray for the continuing witness of this church, as they testify to the Living Christ and His resurrection.

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