[UPDATE: Please pray earnestly for our Pakistani brothers & sisters in Christ! Some people are urging their neighbors to kill anyone involved in this week’s protests. Read the full update on MNN’s Facebook page.]
Pakistan (MNN) — Protestors of Sunday’s double church bombing in Pakistan will be tried in military court.
Government authorities have reportedly decided to take legal action against demonstrators involved in the lynching of two men earlier this week. Interior Minister Chaudry Nisar Ali Khan calls the murders an “act of terrorism.”
The deplorable crime deserves punishment, Bruce Allen of Forgotten Missionaries International says. But, he also notes an obvious “double-standard” when it comes to justice in Pakistan.
“It’s a difficult situation for Christians,” Allen observes. “They see a ‘mob mentality’ that will go and burn hundreds of Christian homes in a neighborhood, and no one is arrested.
“Then, after a terrorist incident against two churches, when the Christians protest in the streets, they’re getting arrested [and] tried in a criminal court, if they’re found.”
Following the bombing, many believers took to the streets in a mix of grief and anger, Allen says. They were mourning the loss of loved ones and were further upset by apparent government negligence.
“Two days before the incident, there were [chalk] writings on walls that were supporting terrorist activity–specifically, ISIS,” Allen reports.
“There was just a sense of ‘boiling over’ [that] was going to occur here soon, and the authorities just were not prepared to deal with that; or, [they] turned a blind eye to it.”
Protecting Pakistani Christians
FMI operates three safe houses in Pakistan for persecuted Christians. This week’s Muslim-Christian tension has caused one of the safe house landlords to abruptly cancel FMI’s lease.
“He didn’t want to have a Christian as a tenant. He just didn’t want to deal with that kind of risk,” shares Allen.
Allen and FMI leadership in Pakistan are scrambling to find an alternative for Christians living in the now-terminated safe house. Pray that the Lord will provide an opportunity quickly.
“There’s a lot of consumables every month: from groceries to medical supplies, training materials, all sorts of things that just go into making up a household,” Allen shares.
Furthermore, FMI has received an abundance of new church planters and evangelists, freshly-trained and ready to enter the mission field: they just need financial support.
“As much as terrorism is increasing, so is the level of people stepping up to the plate,” says Allen. “[These are] people who’ve been trained at very good evangelical seminaries that operate inside Pakistan. They’ve graduated, and they’re saying, ‘We’ll be church planters. We’ll be the next generation of evangelists and disciplers.’
“We would love to come alongside and propel them into ministry, have them fan across the nation; but that takes $100 a month for each supported church planter.”