On Sunday, March 15, 2015, two churches in Youhanabad, Lahore, Pakistan were targeted by Taliban-connected suicide bombers. The death toll from the attacks on St. John’s Catholic Church and Christ Church reached 18, and 78 people were wounded.
Virtually every news service reported that if it had not been for the courageous and self-sacrificing action of church security guards who stopped the bombers from actually entering the churches, the number of dead would have been much higher.
The following story from the Church of the Holy Spirit, Anglican, in Leesburg, Virginia tells how this attack on the Christian community in Lahore, Pakistan is connected to the Christian community of the Anglican Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic. It also provides information on how you can reach out to our Christian brothers and sisters in Pakistan who are suffering from jihad attacks by the Taliban:
You Can Help the Christian Victims of Terrorism in Lahore, Pakistan
Jan Fearing, Church of the Holy Spirit, Leesburg
(picture is of the martyrdom of Zahid Yousaf)
I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. (Rev 6: 9b)
The recent killings in Pakistan hit closer to home for us here in the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic than you may know. On March 15, when radical Muslim terrorist bombers attacked two churches in Lahore, Pakistan, one man made a difference.
Zahid Yousaf is the cousin of Church of the Holy Spirit’s Ruby Ilyas, wife of Ilyas Masih. Zahid was part of the security group that day for Christ Church, Lahore, and as he saw a terrorist running to enter the building, Zahid rushed forward to stop him. Zahid was shot and soon died; but he was able to halt the progress of the killer, who exploded himself outside, instead of inside, the crowded building where hundreds had taken cover. Zahid is a martyr; he is one of ours.
Lahore is shaking with violence. Crimes of retribution and the dysfunction of the police and government (and their unwillingness to pursue justice in crimes against Christians and other minorities) have combined to produce ongoing tragedy. To read more about the situation, click here.
Ilyas Masih is determined to help the Christians of Pakistan. Ilyas, who leads the All Neighbors mission that is sponsored by Church of the Holy Spirit in Leesburg, had already planned a trip back to his nation of origin in April to host an event there for Easter.
Now Ilyas wants to extend that mission to include aid for the 78 injured from the bombings in Lahore, many of whom are poor and have no means to pay hospital bills; and the families of the Christian martyrs. Ilyas is hoping to bring $5,000 to share with them.
Would you consider making a donation to All Neighbors to help? And would you please pray for Ilyas and the Christians in Pakistan? To donate to All Neighbors for this mission trip, please click on this link:
https://pushpay.com/pay/holyspiritanglican/ . In the “Giving Type” field, chose “All Neighbors.”
OR – Send a check to:
Church of the Holy Spirit with “All Neighbors” on memo line.
908 Trailview Blvd, Suite 200,
Leesburg VA 20175.