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We Grieve and Deepen Our Dedication to Peace in Response to the Church Bombing in Pakistan

September 24, 2013

In response to the bombing that killed between 78 and 85 people and injured 100 to 150 more at All Saints’ Anglican Church in Peshawar, Pakistan, we join people of good will throughout the world in being filled with sorrow but also a determination to the core of our being that we WILL overcome hatred with love. 

Anglicans in Pakistan and around the world have expressed their shock and sadness at this horrendous act.

On the Peshawar Diocese website its Bishop, the Rt Rev’d Humphrey Peters, condemned the attack and expressed his condolences to all the families who lost loved ones. He appealed for Christians in Pakistan and around the world to pray for the affected families.

In a Tweet Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby wrote, “Peshawar bomb reveals depths of human evil, yet those suffering speak of forgiveness as well as justice. That is the love of Jesus shown.” 

He also wrote to the Moderator of the Church in Pakistan, offering assurance of his prayers and fullest support. He said, “I  am appalled to learn of the attack on All Saints’ Church in Peshawar as people had gathered there to pray. My heart goes out to all those bereaved and injured by this terrible attack.  I pray for the peace of Pakistan and the protection of Christ’s people.  With the people of Peshawar I join in calling for the Pakistan Government and all people of good will to ensure that communities may go about their daily lives in safety, and that the perpetrators are brought to justice.”

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Bishop of Amritsar in India Pradeep Samantaroy said, “The ghastly killing of Christians in Peshawar is shocking.” He had been unable to talk to Bishop Humphrey but did convey the diocese’s grief and solidarity to Moderator of the Church of Pakistan, Bishop Samuel Azariah. Bp Samataroy’s diocese also held a candlelight procession and prayer service yesterday evening to express their solidarity with Christians in Pakistan.

Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts-Schori released a statement saying, “This act of violence is a reminder of the preciousness and fragility of life, and of our interconnectedness. We are all wounded, we have all lost family, friends, and fellow citizens of the world. We will continue to pray for the bereaved, for the injured, for the perpetrators, for their communities, and for this broken world.”

Pakistan

Other Christian leaders have added their voices in solidarity.

The World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Revd Dr Olav Fykse Tveit expressed “heart-felt sorrow” at the heavy loss of life from the bombings at the All Saints Church in Peshawar calling it a “single worst loss of life among Christians in Pakistan”. 

Speaking September 22 in Cagliara, Sardinia, Pope Francis said: “Today, in Pakistan, because of a wrong choice, a decision of hatred, of war, there was an attack in which over 70 people died. This choice cannot stand,” the Holy Father said. “It serves nothing. Only the path of peace can build a better world.”

And other leaders throughout the world have shared the same sentiments.

A statement from the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, said, “The terrorists have no religion, and targeting innocent people is against the teachings of Islam and all religions.”

The Pakistan Ulema Council, the largest clerical body, also condemned the blast, saying that the council was “standing with our Christian brothers in this tragedy.”

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said he was appalled by the attack and asked Pakistan to bring the perpetrators to justice.“The secretary general condemns this atrocious bombing attack in the strongest possible terms,” his office said in a statement.

And John Baird and Andrew Bennett, Canada’s own Foreign Affairs Minister and Ambassador for Religious Freedom, respectively, issued the following statement: “We are deeply concerned by the violent disregard of extremists in Pakistan for the right of all religious communities to practice their faith in peace and security. This was an act of cowardly violence that brutally targeted innocent worshippers. Canada calls on Pakistani authorities to bring these perpetrators to justice and to protect those who seek to worship in peace, free from fear and intimidation.”

Mall Massacre

We are so aware of the violence in our world – brought home to us afresh by this tragedy and the other terrible killing in the mall in Nairobi, which took place at the same time. We pray that all people will turn to the Prince of Peace, who is the answer to the evil in the human heart. In him, we have a love that is stronger than all hate and all death, the love for which our world longs.

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2:00 P.M. UPDATE:

[The Anglican News Service posted this article earlier today. As the Secretary-General is suggesting, we’ll especially remember the people of Pakistan, as well as the people of Kenya, in our Services this Sunday.]

Secretary General to Anglican Communion: “Please Pray for Pakistan”

By ACNS staff

The Secretary General of the Anglican Communion has asked for Communion-wide prayer following the suicide attack on a church in Pakistan that left at least 78 dead and more than 100 injured.

In a letter to the Anglican Communion’s Primates–its most senior bishops–Canon Kenneth Kearon wrote, “Messages of condolences have been coming in from around the Communion, and I write to ask you to consider requesting your parishes and dioceses to remember in prayer those who died or were bereaved and those who were injured or live in fear because of the tragedy.”

This call comes following an attack on All Saint’s Church, Peshawar, that has been labelled the worst assault on the country’s Christian minority in many years.

Already leaders from around the Anglican world have expressed their shock and sorrow at the incident. Today leaders from countries including India and Tanzania wrote to Peshawar Diocese Bishop Humphrey Peters and Moderator of the Church of Pakistan, Bishop Samuel Azariah to assure them of their prayers and support.

Canon Kearon proposed that churches around the world prayed for Pakistan this coming Sunday, the 29 September.

Those who do pray for the country, will no doubt also remember those affected by today’s powerful 7.7 magnitude earthquake that reports say has killed at least 30 people in a remote area of south-west Pakistan.

From → All Posts, Prayers, Quotes

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