Pakistani Christians Remember the Day Twin Suicide Blasts Killed Dozens at All Saints Church

Pakistan church bomb: Christians mourn 85 killed in Peshawar suicide attack
Pakistan church bomb: Christians mourn 85 killed in Peshawar suicide attack

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1: 2-4 (NIV)

September 22, 2013 is a day that every Christian in Pakistan remembers. It’s the day when twin suicide blasts swallowed up the lives of dozens of worshippers and changed the lives of hundreds in All Saints Church in Peshawar.

On that Sunday, none of the believers thought it would be their last one. The carnage has left others alone, sick, injured and with a sadness that the survivors can’t overcome. The pain of losing the dear and loved ones in such a barbaric way will always remain with them.

The church where once they all worshipped together is now a reminder of the time when they lost their loved ones. However, the attacks have not weakened the survivors’ faith; rather, it has made them stronger.

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.  James 1:12 (NIV)

Talking to the victims and the survivors of the Peshawar Church blast reveals nothing but the strength and the faith that these Christian still have, even after going through the biggest tragedy of their lives.

“The (victims) of the blast still go to the church and they are not scared,” Asher Ashkar Gohar said.

Gohar was in the church that day and had prepared a special Bible study for the youth group for that particular Sunday.

“As I opened my file to share my thoughts with my friends after the church service, I heard a blast. At that time, I didn’t know that it was a suicide attack,” he said.

Gohar recalled the suffering and the pain he saw all around as he was taken to the hospital with severe injuries.

“It took me almost a year to get fully recovered from my injuries. However, I still have scars which would always remind me of that day,” he said.

During my conversation with Gohar, I could sense the conviction and the strength he still bears.

“It has made me much stronger as God has given me the strength to overcome the pain that day has inflicted upon me and all the survivors,” he said.

Gohar, 23, is now pursuing his Masters’ degree in English literature at the University of Peshawar and is actively working with the youth of the church.

Just like Gohar, every other victim of the bombings demonstrates the resilience that these Christians have. The most painful part is that each one of the survivors have lost either a family member or a very closer relative.

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