Pakistan (MNN) — Christians in Pakistan are living in fear today following two bombings targeting two churches over the weekend in the Lahore suburb of Youhanabad.
According to reports, two suicide bombers with the Pakistan Taliban tried shooting their way into the churches during services Sunday. When they were met by security guards at the gates, the terrorists detonated their bombs. 15 people were killed, and 70 were wounded in the attack.
Bruce Allen with Forgotten Missionaries International says their Pakistan director was at the scene. “News reports that I’ve been reading out of Pakistan are saying 15 are dead, and yet he counted 60.”
The churches are about 600 meters (1,800 feet) from one another.
This is just the latest persecution against Christians in what authorities are calling an “increasingly fractured country.”
In a statement, a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban Ahsanullah Ahsan says, “There will be more of such attacks.”
Allen says this is no surprise. At least two dozen Pakistani Taliban groups have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. “We’ve been seeing deadly school attacks with over 140 killed, multiple mosque attacks, multiple church attacks of suicide bombers. It’s only going to increase. They’d love to see the government totally collapse.”
Allen says the government is concerned and they are “increasing their response to terrorism, although the rapid terrorist response team did not arrive on the scene until 35 hours after the bomb blast.”
What does this mean for the work Forgotten Missionaries International is doing? Allen says it hasn’t stopped their work, but it is causing them to strategize differently. “Many Muslims are really questioning the validity of their religion, and they’re questioning it openly. I was sharing with [some of] them that as much as they are seeking the truth about God, the Heavenly Father is seeking people who will worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.”
Forgotten Missionaries International reports there are many opportunities for evangelism, church planting, and discipleship. “We want to make sure that our evangelists have good resources, whether it’s the Bible to share–hard copy, or on CD so that people who are not literate can still hear the Gospel.”
Pastors also need support. “FMI has received applications from over two dozen qualified pastors. We have these guys in the pipeline who say, ‘We would love to be in ministry; we just need some assistance to get this job done.'”
To support a pastor, all it takes is $100 per month. Go to http://www.ForgottenMissionaries.org.