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The scene of a church bombing in 2013
A scene at a previous church bombing (in Peshawar, Pakistan) that took place in September 2013. The ministry's Medical Fund provided greatly needed assistance to surviving (injured) victims of the attack.

On the Sunday morning of December 17th, four Islamic terrorists attacked the Bethel Memorial Methodist Church in Quetta, the capital of Pakistan's Baluchistan Province. Some 400 Christians were participating in the "Sunday School Christmas Program" when gunfire erupted outside. Two gunmen had shot dead the church's gatekeeper, George Masih, paving the way for two suicide bombers to invade. Security guards stationed around the perimeter of the church and on the roof returned fire -- killing one bomber, wounding the other, and forcing the remaining two gunmen to flee.

Unable to make it inside the church, the wounded bomber detonated his explosive vest outside. At least nine Christians were killed in the blast and more than 50 suffered wounds from the fired bullets or shards of wood and glass that were propelled by the explosion. According to Pastor Samuel, had either of the two bombers managed to enter the church, the death toll "would have been colossal." The self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for the attack.

While we lament and "weep with those who weep" (Romans 12:15), we thank God that the full extent of the intended evil was not realized. Previous reports on the persecution of Christians in Pakistan are available here.

Thank you for joining us in prayer for the protection of Christians in Pakistan and their churches, especially during this Christmas season when they're potentially more vulnerable to targeted attacks. In addition, may God provide comfort and encouragement to every persecuted believer -- whether they happen to be spending this Christmas in prison or in the custody of Islamic militants on account of the name of Jesus. While these believers await the Lord's deliverance, pray that they will tangibly experience His closeness and everlasting love; fully aware that wherever they happen to be, His "sanctuary" (or "dwelling place") is residing with them.

Current Ministry Projects

Throughout Pakistan, VOMC’s ministry partners are providing Christian women with practical skills training in sewing so they can obtain a sustainable source of income for their families, as well as needed spiritual encouragement to strengthen their faith and witness for Christ.

Project Funds: Families of Martyrs, Women’s Ministry

Country Information

Population
238,181,034 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Punjabi (44.7), Pashtun [Pathan] (15.4), Sindhi (14.1), Saraiki (8.4) Muhajirs (7.6) Balochi (3.6), Other (6.3)

Religion (%)
Islam (96.5), Other - Christian and Hindu (3.5)

Leader
President Arif Alvi (2018)

Government type
Federal parliamentary republic

Legal system
Common law system with Islamic law influence

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Pakistan

Pray that amendments will be made to Pakistan's existing blasphemy laws so that the country's citizens – including its children – will be protected from injustice and abuse. May our Lord's mercy and justice prevail, not only in the judiciary system but also in the hearts of the country's militants. Ask Him to transform their "hearts of stone" into hearts that are receptive to His love, mercy and the workings of His Holy Spirit – not only for the purpose of protecting the Christian minority but also for the salvation of their own eternal souls.

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