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An Easter gathering at a public park in Lahore, Pakistan, was attacked by a suicide bomber leaving almost 70 people dead and many others seriously wounded. A Pakistan Taliban faction has claimed ownership for carrying out the attack.

The explosion took place in the parking area of Gulshan Iqbal Park, just a few feet away from some children's swings. The area was crowded at the time because Christians were gathering to celebrate the Easter holiday.

One eyewitness said there was chaos, resulting in a stampede where children were separated from their parents in the rush to escape. Hasan Imran, a 30-year-old local resident who had gone to the park for a walk, told Reuters: "When the blast occurred, the flames were so high they reached above the trees and I saw bodies flying in the air." According to Lahore's deputy commissioner, Mohammad Usman, the number of injured was 193.

Believers in Pakistan are often the target of religious extremist groups. Last year, suicide bombers from the Pakistani Taliban attacked two churches in the Christian neighbourhood of Youhanabad, also located in Lahore. To review VOM Canada's report on these earlier attacks, visit this page.

Please join us in interceding for the many innocent victims who've been injured in this most recent dreadful Lahore attack. Pray that the Lord's gentle ministering touch will bring healing, peace and wholeness to the bodies and minds of all who've been affected by the resulting trauma. May those mourning the loss of loved ones rest in the comfort of knowing they are now safe in Christ's loving care -- from the duration of this present time throughout eternity.

Video footage from BBC is available here.

Current Ministry Projects

VOMC partners to train Christian women in sewing skills throughout Pakistan to provide a sustainable source of income for their families and encourage them in their faith and witness for Christ.

Project Funds: Families of Martyrs, Women’s Ministry

Country Information

Population
238,181,034 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Punjabi (44.7), Pashtun [Pathan] (15.4), Sindhi (14.1), Saraiki (8.4) Muhajirs (7.6) Balochi (3.6), Other (6.3)

Religion (%)
Islam (96.5), Other - Christian and Hindu (3.5)

Leader
President Arif Alvi (2018)

Government type
Federal parliamentary republic

Legal system
Common law system with Islamic law influence

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Pakistan

Pray that amendments will be made to Pakistan's existing blasphemy laws so that the country's citizens – including its children – will be protected from injustice and abuse. May our Lord's mercy and justice prevail, not only in the judiciary system but also in the hearts of the country's militants. Ask Him to transform their "hearts of stone" into hearts that are receptive to His love, mercy and the workings of His Holy Spirit – not only for the purpose of protecting the Christian minority but also for the salvation of their own eternal souls.

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