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Letter of solidarity on church bombings in Pakistan

Letter of solidarity sent to the WCC member churches in Pakistan, National Council of Churches in Pakistan on bombings of the All Saints Church in Peshawar, Pakistan.

23 September 2013

"Jesus said… 'I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die'…" John 11:25-26 (NRSV)

On behalf of the WCC, I wish to express our heart-felt sorrow at the heavy loss of life from the bombing at All Saints Church in Peshawar, Pakistan.

This deliberate targeting of a vulnerable Christian community came at the end of divine worship on Sunday, 22 September and is the single worst loss of life among Christians in Pakistan.

It is particularly tragic given that All Saints Church, Peshawar, one of the oldest Christian churches in Pakistan, witnesses by the building’s very resemblance to traditional Islamic architecture to the desire of the Christians of Pakistan to live peacefully with their Muslim neighbours and fellow citizens.

Last week in the World Council of Churches we organized a consultation on the “Politicization of Religion and the Rights of Religious Minorities” during which we heard a speaker from Pakistan describe the on-going difficulties of the Christian community there.

It has deeply saddened us to receive the news of this terrible attack. We express our sympathy for all who have been bereaved, our prayers for those who have been injured, and we commemorate in prayer those whose lives have been lost.

We commit ourselves anew to working for the wellbeing of the Christian community in Pakistan, and express our solidarity with the community at this time of grief.  We call for an end to the wanton violence that has been perpetrated and ask 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.

In the name of Christ,

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit
WCC general secretary