While many of us in America sat down in our pews on Sunday, dressed in our Easter finest, hundreds of our brothers and sisters in Christ in Lahore, Pakistan were killed or seriously injured in a suicide bombing.
Many Christians had gathered in a local park to celebrate Easter, when a suicide bomber from an Al Qaeda splinter group specifically targeted them. Over 70 people were killed and more than 341 were injured in the blast. An overwhelming number of the casualties were women and children.
CNN has one eyewitness report:
One witness, Danish, was at the amusement park with his two sisters. He recalled the moment that the explosion ripped apart the park, killing one of his sisters and seriously injuring the other.
“It was so crowded that there was even no way of entering it. We went to a canteen to have something to eat, when there was suddenly a big blast. Everyone panicked, running to all directions. Many of them were blocked at the gate of the park. Dead bodies can be found everywhere,” he told reporters.
“My sister got wounded in the neck. The object hit her looks like a piece of hard iron, and it burnt her in the neck. She was also wounded in the chest.”
And now a leader of the terrorist group responsible has vowed that such attacks against Pakistan’s Christian minority will continue.
Christians make up less than 2% of Pakistan’s population, and they are now facing ever-increasing persecution from the majority hardline Muslim population.
I think it is often hard for those of us in America to truly understand what our brothers and sisters abroad go through for the sake of our faith. Although we have our own form of cultural oppression, it pales in comparison to the daily martyrdom of Christians in the Middle East and East Asia.
Christians in many of these countries are living next door to Islamic terrorists who could attack at any moment. And, unfortunately in many of these majority Muslim countries like Pakistan, even Muslims who aren’t terrorists are more likely to sympathize with ISIS than with Christians. As David has previously pointed out, 72% of Pakistan’s population can’t bring themselves to have a negative view of ISIS, the most radical and deadly terrorist group in centuries.
No wonder our fellow Christians face so much danger and persecution.
As our season of Lent and Easter comes to a close, may we remain in a posture of prayer for those affected by the attack in Lahore, and may we lift up our Christian brothers and sister their whose very lives are in constant peril.
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