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These Pakistanis gathered together for a time of
prayer and peaceful demonstration after the two
recent church attacks in Youhanabad.
Photo: VOMC partner

On March 15th, suicide bombers attacked two churches in east Lahore during the morning worship services, killing at least 17 people and wounding more than 70 others. A group linked to the Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attacks, while offering threats of more violence. The bombings occurred minutes apart in the Christian neighbourhood of Youhanabad. Witnesses report that volunteer security guards and police who were assigned to protect the churches died while tackling the attackers near the entrance ways, thankfully preventing even more injuries and deaths.

The following day, crowds of upset believers gathered on the streets to protest against the assaults. One Christian youth was killed and 15 others were wounded in Lahore as violent protests spread from the affected neighbourhood to other parts of the country. Meanwhile, angry residents of Youhanabad reportedly killed two Muslims who were suspected of aiding the terrorists. Although Christian and Muslim leaders have been calling for peace, there is concern that the volatile situation could escalate, resulting in reprisals being made against the beleaguered Christian community. Various VOM ministry partners are currently assessing the needs of those affected by the bombings and will soon be responding with emergency assistance.

Let us bring those mourning the tragic loss of loved ones due to these senseless attacks to our compassionate God in prayer, asking Him to be especially near to each one. May He also grant full healing to those who have suffered injuries. In particular, VOM ministry partners working within the country have requested prayer that the affected Christians will be blessed with increased faith and the willingness to forgive their persecutors. Additionally, ask that the Pakistani believers will be agents of peace and reconciliation, demonstrating the heart of our Lord Jesus Christ. Finally, please pray that the members of the militant group behind these assaults will repent and come to faith in Him.