Pakistan (MNN) — Police are investigating Tuesday’s attack at an Islamic school in Pakistan. They’ve arrested 55 people so far, but some experts say the explosive used was too sophisticated for local terror groups:
“The attack does not bear the signature of usual suspects like Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan [TTP] and its other offshoots. [Someone used] military-grade explosives or TNT in the attack. It is a sophisticated job.”
At least eight people died when a bomb left outside the Jamia Zubairia madrassa exploded Tuesday morning and wounded dozens. FMI’s Nehemiah* says the real death toll may be much higher.
“This was a madrassa. This is specifically for the children who study the Quran; many children died,” Nehemiah says.
“[Our sources claim] that the numbers are very, very high; [much higher] than this. But, the government [is] trying to give a cover-up.”
A seventh-grade class was in the hall at the time of the attack, DAWN reports. According to UNICEF, most of the school’s 500 students were between 20- and 30-years old.
Events like this are tragically common in Peshawar. “Out of 100, just five-percent [of the] news is being covered internationally. Forced conversion, rapes, murders, [of] religious minorities are very, very common,” Nehemiah states.
“Christians in Pakistan, especially in this province, are constantly living in great fear. The fear of persecution is really dangerous. When you have a fear of losing your loved ones, your family members, you die every day.”
The silver lining
FMI supports indigenous church planters in Muslim-majority countries. More about FMI here. In Peshawar, “FMI has a large impact and footprint. We [have] many brothers who are serving in this area,” Nehemiah says.
Six years ago, the Taliban brutally attacked an army school in Peshawar, killing nearly 150 students and teachers. Many Pakistanis questioned Islam following that attack, and Nehemiah says church planters see a similar spiritual disillusionment today.
“Please pray for our brothers who are serving there in this difficult situation, that they can introduce a real Prince of Peace to the people,” he requests.
“When people feel that they are not finding any peace because of such incidents, then we can introduce Jesus Christ to them.”
It is one of the world’s worst persecutors of Christians, “but I want to tell you that Pakistan is one of the most fertile lands for the evangelism,” Nehemiah says. See our full Pakistan coverage here.
Using prompts listed alongside this article, pray for believers committed to reaching Pakistan for Christ. Consider supporting indigenous church planters through FMI.
“Since the International Day for Persecuted Church is coming, pray for yourself [and others to] feel the burden of persecuted Church more heavily on their hearts,” Nehemiah requests.
“Please pray for the brothers who are serving in these areas. When you’re handing [a] Bible to someone, you don’t know [if] that could be [their] last day.”
In the header image, two men hold signs commemorating the 2014 attack on a military school in Peshawar. (Photo by Rao Shakeel Haider from Pixabay)