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The Adventist Review shares the following world news from Religion News Service as a service to readers. Opinions expressed in these reports do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Review or the Seventh-day Adventist Church. -- Editors

Pakistani Church Bombing Killing 81
Prompts Global Call to Prayer


BY RUSS JONES                                                                                                                      ©2013 Christian News Service 

In the aftermath of one of the deadliest attacks on Pakistan's Christian community on Sunday that killed 81 at the historic All Saints Church, both Christian and Muslim leaders are calling for prayer for the injured and families of all victims.

As believers exited All Saints Church Sept. 22, two suicide bombers detonated their explosive devices, leaving at least 81 dead and 140 injured.

"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," said K. P. Yohannan, founder and director of Gospel for Asia (www.gfa.org/info/pakistan-bombing/).

Gospel for Asia has provided flood relief in the recent past for Pakistan’s citizens through its Compassion Services teams. "As the Bible says, when one of us suffers, we all suffer," said Yohannan.

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.

A splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying they "will continue to strike wherever we will find an opportunity against non-Muslims" until their political demands are met.

In a country where only 3 percent 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.

Muslim and Christian leaders around the world have called for a time of prayer for the victims of the bombing. "We are with our Christian brothers and sisters in this time of grief and sorrow," said Pakistan Ulema Council Chairman Hafiz Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi.




 

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