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Sorrow over church bombings in Pakistan

Posted on: September 23, 2013 4:48 PM
(L to R) The Lutheran World Federation logo and World Council of Churches logo
Related Categories: Asia, Ecumenical, Lutheran, Pakistan, persecution, WCC

The World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Revd Dr Olav Fykse Tveit has expressed “heart-felt sorrow” at the heavy loss of life from the bombings at the All Saints Church in Peshawar calling it a “single worst loss of life among Christians in Pakistan”. 

On Sunday, 22 September around 80 worshippers were killed at the All Saints Church, as a result of suicide bomb attacks, according to the recent media reports.

Tveit said that this is a “deliberate targeting of a vulnerable Christian community”.

“It has deeply saddened us to receive the news of this terrible attack,” he added.

In his message, Tveit expressed sympathies for the bereaved, offering prayers for the injured and those who have lost their lives in the attack.

Speaking on churches’ efforts for protection of minorities, Tveit mentioned a recent WCC consultation on “politicization of religion and rights of religious minorities”, where a Pakistani speaker shared about the on-going difficulties of the Christian community.

Affirming the WCC’s commitment to work for the wellbeing of the Christian community in Pakistan, Tveit called for an “end to the wanton violence” and asked the “government of Pakistan to protect all of its citizens from those who are bent on dividing the country and causing suffering to the innocent."

Earlier today Martin Junge, General Secretary of the Lutheran World Federation sent this letter to Secretary General of the Anglican Communion Canon Kenneth Kearon:

"I wanted just to express both my deep pain and my solidarity with Anglicans as they are relating to the terrible news of the suicide bomb attack in Peshawar. I am dismayed and shocked over the level of violence, the senselessness of this action, and about the extremes to which poisoned minds can go.

"Romans 12 in its entirety comes to my mind, with its counsel offered by the apostle to a community living in a context of violence and persecution, of division and hatred. May the profound words of the Apostle, with its call to be steadfast in the Baptismal vocation, guide and nurture leadership and church members in Pakistan.

"We stand with the Anglicans in this hour of pain, and offer our prayers for God's amazing power so that people are consoled, leadership encouraged and peace, justice and reconciliation upheld."