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PAKISTAN: Massacre of Christians Averted

PAKISTAN: Massacre of Christians Averted

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

 Prayer Points

  • 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.
NIGERIA: 500 Days since Chibok Abductions

NIGERIA: 500 Days since Chibok Abductions

The President of the Ekklisiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) has revealed that over 176 of the girls kidnapped from a school in north east Nigeria by Boko Haram terrorists last year are from families belonging to his denomination.

Reverend Samuel Dali’s revelation coincides with a Global Week of Action launched by local activists to commemorate 500 days since the abductions.

Speaking to local media, Reverend Dali added that over 8,000 members of his church had lost their lives and 70% of church facilities in Adamawa, Yobe and Borno States had been destroyed during the Boko Haram crisis, including the church’s headquarters in Mubi, Adamawa State, which was seized in October 2014. In addition, an estimated 90,000 EYN church members are reported to have been displaced by terrorist violence.

During a two-day visit to Nigeria which began on 23 August, United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon appealed “as UN Secretary General and personally as a father and grandfather” for the unconditional release of “the Chibok girls and the many children and adults kidnapped in the North East.”

Sources: Christian Solidarity Worldwide, International Christian Concern

Prayer Points

  • Pray that the persecution of the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria would bring them together in unity and that they would encounter God in intimate ways through this trial.
  • Pray the world would continue to stand in prayer and contend for the release of those who remain in captivity and the large numbers of people who have lost loved ones, homes and livelihoods.
  • Pray that Nigeria’s military offensive will be successful in continuing to weaken Boko Haram, especially in regions such as Yobe and Borno state, as they are still extremely insecure.

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