*This project has now closed*
As the Christian world celebrated Easter Sunday and new life in Jesus, a suicide bomber walked in to Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park in Lahore with nine kilograms of explosives under his vest. He detonated the bomb in the car park, just metres away from the children’s swings and play equipment. The park had been busy, filled with families on picnics.
The blasts resulted in the deaths of 72 Pakistanis, mostly women and children. A Taliban splinter group claimed responsibility for the attack, with a spokesman saying that Christians celebrating Easter had been the intended target of the attack. Despite this, the majority of the victims were in fact Muslim. Pakistan is among the countries with the highest levels of social hostility to religious minorities, with Christians making up roughly 1% of the population (Pew Research Centre 2015).
Anglican Aid has an established and trusted partner in Lahore who visited the victims and their families in hospital.
“The victims’ families are required to feed their injured relatives in hospital” said David Mansfield, CEO of Anglican Aid. “This is placing huge strain on families, so the first wave response will be emergency food. Later down the track there will be the need to provide trauma counselling.”
- Pray for Pakistani Christian brothers and sisters who are subject to persecution for following Jesus. Pray that they will see God’s grace as sufficient and rejoice in sharing the sufferings of Jesus.
- Pray for all those affected by the bombings. Pray for those grieving the death of loved ones and for the recovery of those who are injured, both from physical injury and psychological trauma.
- As Jesus taught us, pray for “our enemies.” Pray that’s God’s compassion and mercy might extend to those who are responsible for these heinous acts of terror.