Christians in northwest Pakistan narrowly escaped with their lives after security forces foiled a suicide bomb plot against them. Security guard Samuel Masih opened his community’s main gate to four Taliban bombers — and died in a hail of bullets. Two other guards were injured, as were two soldiers and a policeman.
However, the swift response of Samuel’s colleagues meant that a greater tragedy was averted. One of the suicide bombers was killed after igniting his bomb, but there were no other casualties as a result of the blast. Security officials killed the other three other suicide bombers.
The 30 Christian families residing within the gated community near Peshawar in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province were unharmed. The Pakistani Taliban reported that the bombers carried out this attack on 2 September. The same extremist group claimed responsibility for the Easter Sunday suicide bomb attack in Lahore which killed more than 70 people.
Source: Morning Star News
- Pray that God will comfort and provide for Samuel’s widow, Razia, and their five children. Ask God to heal those injured in the attack.
- Ask God to protect other Christian properties in the area, where security is now tight.
- Pray that all our brothers and sisters across Pakistan will know that they are not forgotten by their wider Christian family. Ask God to strengthen their faith.
Nine Christian families, a total of 38 people, have been fined 800,000 kip ($130) by village authorities – the apparent value of the village’s spirits. Authorities are also pressuring the families to sacrifice a pig to the spirits. If they do not pay the fine, they must then renounce their faith.
Elsewhere in Laos, two widows have been persecuted by family members following their acceptance of Christ. One of the women is being pressured by her son-in-law to renounce her faith. Her son-in-law heard that a government program that assists poor families in purchasing cattle will not help Christian families, and he is worried he won’t receive a cow. Despite the pressure, the woman is remaining firm in her faith.
The other widow’s daughter-in-law is pressuring her for the same reasons. In addition, village authorities have forced her to leave her house indefinitely.
“It is sad to see that the two widows, are not worth more than a project of getting a cow,” a VOM worker said. “It is the dislike of their faith that is causing these things to happen. Please keep them in your prayers.”
In a third case, a soldier who became a Christian last year is being forced by his superior to renounce Jesus. If he does not, he will be released from the military and lose his 1,200,000 kip a month ($195) salary. Though he has a wife and two children, he is still choosing to follow Christ.
“He has asked us to pray for him, that God would lead him the right way,” the VOM worker said. “He and his wife want to follow God.”
Source: VOM Sources
- Pray for the nine Christian families to remain steadfast in faith and to depend on God to provide all they will ever need.
- Pray that these two widows will be able to show God’s love to their families, and that their families will see that the Lord is worth far more than any financial benefit.
- Praise God for the courage of the recently saved soldier and ask God to provide him with the right employment in His timing.