Rescuing and serving persecuted Christians since 1995
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By Amy Penn

04/27/2017 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – On March 27, 2016, a suicide bomber from an offshoot of the Pakistani Taliban attacked Gulshan e-Iqbal Park in Lahore, Pakistan where many Christian families were celebrating Easter. The attack killed more than 70 people and wounded more than 300 others.

Following the attack, a spokesperson for the Pakistani Taliban claimed that Christians were the target of the attack and that they would commit more acts of terror against Pakistan’s Christian population.

International Christian Concern (ICC) conducted an initial survey and found that the attack killed 23 Christians, while another 45 were seriously injured and required hospitalization. Many of the Christians injured in the attack were the primary breadwinners for their families, including Saad, Tahir, Zia, Bashir, and Hamid.

On the day of the explosion, three of the victims, Saad, Zia, and Bashir, were standing near the swings with their families while the others were near the entrance. All were rushed to the hospital after the explosion, but the lasting impact of the injuries has made finding work very difficult. Zia remembered that after such a “terrific incident, [my] life was filled with difficulties and hardship. I was not able to fulfill my responsibilities as the head of my family because of illness.” Zia still has brain complications from the attack which makes work incredibly difficult to find.

ICC learned about these five families’ struggle to find steady income sources and sent a representative to determine how ICC could best help the family. After several discussions, ICC partnered with Human Friends Organization (HFO), a local relief agency, to fund auto-rickshaws for each family to operate. ICC helped purchase and present the bright green auto-rickshaws that will enable the families to earn a sustainable income.

The presentations were made at a ceremony in which an archbishop, several pastors, HFO’s president, and all of the victimized families of the blast were present. The ceremony started with a prayer and all of the guests expressed their thanks for ICC’s work in relieving the suffering of the victims.

All of the families expressed gratitude for the small business provided by ICC when they “were suffering and very helpless.” Zia noted that, “HFO and ICC helped me out of this difficult time.” Each of the families described how they pray for ICC and the donors who make such small businesses possible.    

Please pray for these families as they run their new businesses, that they will effectively manage each operation. Pray for safety and that the businesses will not be attacked. In addition, pray that each business will be a daily reminder of God’s love and provision.