Saturday, May 30, 2009

Peshawar Christians Ask for Prayer

Christians in Peshawar, Pakistan are asking for prayer following the bomb blast that killed many and left many families grieving. Christian leaders in this province of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan are appealing to fellow believers worldwide to join them in prayer for the "innocent" and "vulnerable" people victimized by conflicts in their region and across the country.

Peshawar is a major center in the North-West Frontier Province of politically-splintered Pakistan. Spillover from the conflict in Afghanistan affects the area.

Both church appeal and the Times attributed the blasts to the Taliban. Said the Times:

The attacks were reminders of the potency of militants in Pakistan, a nuclear-armed American ally that is fighting a war against the Taliban in its north and west. Pakistan is central to American policy in this region; militants in its lawless tribal areas cross the border into Afghanistan, where the United States is fighting a similar insurgency.

Both bombs in Peshawar, the church report stated, were planted in motorbikes at two different locations. The diocesan statement strongly condemned the action.

"The security in the provincial capital is deteriorating day by day," the appeal from the diocese stated. "The schools in Peshawar will remain closed until further orders."

According to the report, the Taliban were threatening, even killing, people for not wearing traditional Muslim dress: "Female counselors have also been threatened to stop their activities, otherwise, [the Taliban would] blow up their offices. Female nurses have been threatened to cover their faces while serving the patients.

"They are gradually tearing-up the fabric of the society and it seems as though the situation will go worse before it improves for good."

Read more here.

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