Christians in Pakistan are feeling both desolate and vulnerable in this holy season. Many are still mourning the loss of the 82 people who were killed by a double suicide bombing at All Saint Church on September 22. AFP has the story:
Anwar Khokhar, 53, lost six members of his family in the attack, including three of his brothers. For him, the season that for most Christians represents hope and happiness brings no joy but only a keener sense of the bitterness of his loss.
“As Christmas gets nearer I miss them more and more. I miss them as much as it is possible to miss anyone,” he told AFP after attending the last Sunday service before Christmas. “I miss our relatives so sadly, one of my brothers especially. It’s so hard that he’s not with us this Sunday and especially at Christmas.”
In his sermon the vicar, Reverend Ejaz Gill, tried to offer comfort, saying the victims are at peace and will join with their loved ones spiritually to celebrate Christmas.
But for some the wounds are still too fresh and after the service a group of women gathered to weep in the courtyard, which is adorned with colour posters of the dead, stifling tears in their brightly-coloured “Sunday best” headscarves.
Pray for the church in Pakistan. And for whom else shall we pray during this season in which loss and separation can seem all the more painful?