Photo Credit: Diocese of Raiwind, Church of Pakistan
By ACNS staff, based on reporting from the Anglican Alliance
Prayer, trauma counselling and security are top priorities for the Church in Pakistan (United) in the aftermath of the bombings of Christ Church and St John's Catholic Church in Youhanabad, Lahore, during Sunday services on 15 March, Bishop Irfan Jamil told the Anglican Alliance in a recent conference call.
The Bishop of Lahore Diocese reported that he and his team had been visiting those who had lost loved ones or had been injured in the attacks, which killed at least 14 people and injured more than 70.
The church would continue to respond to those affected by the attacks, said Bishop Jamil.
A first priority would be to build capacity and gain official support in the area of security in order to ensure better protection for the people, he said, and a second priority would be to provide culturally-appropriate trauma counselling for those most affected.
Further, the diocese planned to improve its capacity to respond effectively to media requests and to keep the rest of the Anglican Communion informed.
A coalition of Anglican churches and agencies would work with the Lahore Diocese to strengthen its capacity in these areas and to liaise with a broad network of development partners, the Anglican Alliance said.
Call for continued prayer
On Good Friday (3 April 2015) the Diocese of Lahore held a day of prayer and reflection for those who died, the bishop reported.
He thanked the Anglican Communion for the many messages of love and support, and asked the Communion to continue to stand alongside the Church in Pakistan in these times of trauma.
He requested prayer in particular for bereaved families, especially those who had lost children, and those with long-term, life-changing injuries.
Senior leaders in the church and their families also needed prayer for strength and moments of rest in order to be able to respond to the needs of the community, he added.
Bishop Jamil emphasised the role of church leaders in building peace, harmony and mutual understanding.
He asked the Anglican Communion to pray for local leaders and the communities living together in Pakistan, that justice and wisdom would lead them to build mutual understanding and peace, and that the law would be upheld.
Prayer for people involved in terrorism to turn to peace and for peace to reign were further priorities, the bishop said.
Attending the Anglican Alliance conference call were representatives from the Anglican Board of Mission - Australia, the Anglican Communion Office, CMS-Asia and CMS-UK, the Episcopal Church, Episcopal Relief & Development, the Mothers' Union, and the Diocese of Manchester, UK, which is a companion link diocese with Lahore. Read more from Anglican Alliance about the conference call.
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