Pakistan (MNN/GFA) — Angry Pakistanis blocked roads, burned tires, and barricaded roads in protest of the horrific bombing Sunday that killed 81 people and injured 140 others. The country's government announced a three-day period of national mourning for the church attack. What does this time mean for Christians?
Gospel For Asia works in Pakistan, most recently providing flood relief for Pakistani flood victims through GFA's Compassion Services team.
GFA founder KP Yohannan says that in the aftermath of one of the deadliest attacks on Pakistan's Christian community, there will be an impact on church growth. "Whenever there is persecution and difficulties, the church continues to grow. In Pakistan, we don't know what we're looking at. Will there be more persecution? Some of our leaders think so. Now this is spreading to other countries."
Yohannan says, "In this time of tragedy, let us pray not only for healing and comfort, but also that God will continue using it to provide peace and turn sympathies toward Pakistani believers who have faced much persecution in the past.
Yohannan says Christians globally need to be concerned. "As the Bible says, when one of us suffers, we all suffer."
People were completing worship and about to share a meal together when suicide bombers entered the church compound. Among the dead were 34 women and seven children, as well as two Muslim police officers.
In a country where only 3% are Christians, many Muslims expressed sympathy and outrage at the attack on peaceful worshippers, and government officials have condemned the attack. "Such cruel acts of terrorism reflect the brutality and inhumane mindset of the terrorists," said Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Yohannan is heartened by many who are standing with Christians. "All over the world, people are protesting: India, United States, and everywhere."
However, Yohannan says the western church especially needs to do more as it relates to prayer. "People spend less than eight minutes a day in prayer, on average. Pastors are said to spend less than 30 minutes a day in prayer. Is this going to make the local pastor call his people to come together in prayer like they are praying in Pakistan?"
He says Christians in the west need to feel the urgency of prayer just like we do when pleading with God to heal someone who is sick or injured.
Gospel for Asia is specifically calling people to pray for:
• Healing and comfort for the victims and their families.
• Grace for Pakistan's Christian leaders and other believers ministering to the victims.
• Changed hearts in the people who planned this and other attacks.
• Wisdom for Pakistan's leaders as they determine the best way to deal with terrorists and religious persecution in their nation.
• Peace in Pakistan.
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