By William Stark
Over the past week, over one hundred Christians killed at All Saints Church were commemorated in Peshawar by friends and family on the second anniversary of the church bombing. Memorial services started on the 19th and concluded on the 22nd with a large prayer service at All Saints Church, the site of the bombing.
The final prayer service started with a minute of silence at 11:45 a.m. on the 22nd, exactly two years from the moment extremists attacked the church and killed so many. Throughout the final service, many succumbed to tears as they narrated the tragedy of the day to others gathered at the 125-year-old church.
Earlier in the day, the families of those killed visited graveyards, showering graves with rose petals, flowers, and lit candles. Visitors in the graveyard thanked God for choosing their family members to be chosen as martyrs for they faith and for being persecuted for His name.
Earlier in the week, individual families organized small events in their homes to remember specific family members who lost lives in the church bombing. Many families distributed food and other items in their neighborhoods, believing the gifts they serve will also serve the deceased in the heaven.
“Killing people due to the differences of faith is the biggest denial of humanity,” Bishop Emeritus Mano Romal Shah of Peshawar told International Christian Concern (ICC). “Because of our religious identity, we are picked upon and persecuted. We, Christians, are like sitting ducks in this situation.”
“Today we have tears, but also still have a lot of purpose to live and serve in this country,” the Bishop Emeritus continued. “That is why we are here. Persecution in the name of faith is the natural order of things here in Pakistan.”
As Christians in Peshawar conclude their services and memorials, it is now up to the global Christian community to remember, pray, and speak up for those affected by the bombing of All Saints Church and other instances of persecution. Please take a moment today to say a little prayer for the Christian community of Peshawar.