Pakistan (MNN) — A Taliban suicide bomber in Pakistan killed at least 26 people, including nine police officers in the capital city of Lahore on Monday.
(Photo courtesy of FMI)
The attacker was part of a new Taliban faction known as the Taliban Special Group (TSG), which consists of well-trained suicide bombers. Reports say the attacker was targeting law enforcement, but FMI’s Bruce Allen says that’s not the whole story.
“What the mainstream media is not reporting is that this is the second-largest Christian colony in Pakistan where this blast occurred,” Allen says. “And while this Taliban Special Group claimed that it was targeting police, the fuller story is that they’re targeting police, or security, in Christian colonies.”
Allen says the most recent incident happened less than two miles from a gathering center for FMI-supported pastors,
“The incident took place about a mile-and-a-half from where FMI pastors in Pakistan meet on a monthly basis, where they receive their monthly financial support, where they get together for sharing prayer requests and have some ongoing training centers and things like that,” Allen says. “And they’re concerned because that’s the main and only road to get to the place where they need to monthly, and so they’re concerned about what happens for their next meeting and what sort of security would be available for them.”
Pakistan has faced numerous attacks over the past few months, including three separate bombings in late June that killed 83 civilians. Allen says the continual violence is taking a toll on believers.
“It just puts the Christians at this heightened state of alert, and they have been for some time,” Allen says. “We recall last Easter, a time of great celebration, and there’s an attack against Christians in the parks. And that’s what they live with constantly.”
Pakistan flag (Photo courtesy of FMI)
FMI supports several pastors throughout Lahore and the surrounding vicinities. Allen says he often receives messages from them asking for prayer for an end to the violence.
“You have the pastors and church planters who are ministering to those people, and it’s very wearing on them because they want to encourage people to persevere in the midst of hardship, and yet the people are crying like the children of Israel in Egypt regarding their 400 years of slavery, ‘Lord, how much longer? When will we be delivered?’
“You know, we talk about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with people in combat,” Allen says. “Well, here you have a whole population of people who that’s what their life is: combat. And so it has psychological, spiritual, and emotional wearing. So pray for their wholeness and their ability to continue to do ministry, and not shrink back and just kind of retreat, but that they will still engage their culture.”
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