REPORT OF THE CHURCH BOMBED IN PESHAWAR PAKISTAN
Double--suicide bombed: September 22, 2013
The photographs used in this report are real casualties in the aftermath of this tragedy
and may be too graphic for some viewers.
[What to do?† See www.StopPersecution.org.]
That day, Sunday, September 22, 2013 would be marked as the worst and bleakest day for the Christian community of Pakistan.
On this day the city of Peshawar and its Christian community witnessed such a big disaster. Which on one could have ever imagined?
Peshawar city is situated in the Province of Khabar Pakhtunkhwa. Peshawar city is also the provincial capital. And all the important provincial buildings of the government and law enforcement agencies are located in this provincial capital city Peshawar.
It was a bright Sunday morning. And all the official buildings were close because of the Sunday holiday. But the Churches were open for the Sunday Services.
One of the Churches named ďALL SAINTS CHURCHĒ, which is situated in the center and heart of the Peshawar city. That church is owned by the Church of Pakistan. Is one of the most old and crowed church of the city. In the normal days Sunday services attendance is around 500 to 600 people.
On this day 22nd of September in the morning when Sunday service was started in the Church. There was fairly a big gathering in the church. The church members came to church with their families. So many children were with them from new born babies to 18 years old boys and girls.
They all were very happy. And praise and worshiping their Lord God, Heavenly Father. Every ones face was bright and shining, everyone was very happy and one can see smiling faces everywhere in the church building.
On that day in the church there was a thanksgiving prayer. And as a thanksgiving some one hosted food for all the church members present in that Sunday service.
After the Church service, which ended around at 12:00 pm people came out of the church building and happily met with each other. Few were greeting and few were discussing different things. Some of them started to have food of thanks giving. Children were playing in the lawn of the church. Moms were running after them to grab them, so they donít stumble and hurt themselves.
SUDDENLY THERE WAS A SOUND OF BANG. AND THE CLOUD OF SMOKE APPEARED AND THEN THERE WAS AN OTHER SOUND OF BLAST AFTER THE FIRST BANG SOUND. AND WHEN THE THICK SMOKE GET DISAPPEAR.
THERE WAS NO MORE SMILEÖ!
THERE WAS NO MORE LIFEÖ!
It was a Suicidal attack on the Church!!
There were twin suicidal attacks on the church. And in a few moments smiles changed into crying. People were lying down on the floor; they are not alive any more!!! Everywhere there was blood. Body parts were all over the place.
The child after whom her mother was running to grab and he were smiling. Now that child was crying because there was no more mother to run after him. And child is standing alone at that place crying and bleeding and looking for mother. But donít know that she is no more to grad him.
When our Youth with a Mission (YWAM) staff members heard about the blast in the church in Peshawar city, we were in Islamabad. 1 hour 30 minutes away.† We rushed towards the site. Some other YWAM staff and students also joined us on the way.
When we reached there we saw something very serious and bigger then what we watched on our television screens and what we imagined.† The people were grieved and very angry. They were blaming police and government officials for not providing proper security for the churches and Christians.
But they were even angrier over the government and administration for not providing the ambulances and proper medical facilities to the Christians. Few people told our team that this church only 10 minutes away from the government hospital; but first ambulance came to the church after two hours of the incident. Meanwhile many people were picked their injured family members on their hands and went to different hospital. But when they all arrived at different hospitals there were not enough doctors and nurses. And even after many hours there were was no proper facility was given to the Christian injured patients. Some of the most injured patient saw the doctor after seventeen hours. Many died because there were no enough doctor or nurses after five to ten hours of surviving!!!
People said that their friends and family members died because there was no proper treatment given to their patients as well.
One young man told us that his brother was about to graduate as a medical doctor from the medical college. But today from the blast he got severely injured. (Brother said) I went to doctor many times and pleaded before him please come and see my brother. He is in very critical condition, but doctor did not listen to me and didnít come to see my brother! After one hour my brother died.† I have no brother now!!
As people were not getting proper medical facilities at the emergency department they protested against and the medical people. And in anger broke some windows.
And doctors rather understanding their feelings and sentiments, and helping them. They went on strike and stop attending patients for almost 1 hour saying that first take all the attendants out of the wards. Then we will see their injured family members.† And in that period of time many critical patients died.
Then there was a not adequate medical facility for the patients. Few families those who were well off took their patients to different other best hospitals. But all those who are not very well off were not getting proper treatment.
All the Christian nurses of the ďLady Reading HospitalĒ protested for not giving proper medical facilities to the Christians. And also protested against the Muslim doctors and nurses for not being showing up.
So many people lost their loved ones.
One man was drunk and was cursing government and priests and media and all the people around the bomb blast area. Our team thought what is he doing? But later on we came to know that he has lost his senses because nine (9) of his family members died in this suicidal bombing.
Some very serious type of things also happened after the blast. Few People pulled off the Gold earrings of the ears of the Christian females. There were few stories came across to our ears that few children were reported missing especially girls, but later we came to know that they were taken by their relatives.
Some of the families were only having injured family members no one died in their family. Some of the families were having one death. Some even lost half of the family members. And some even lost all of the family members and only one is left.
There was a lady who was crying and cursing herself, why today she did not came to attend the church service and die with other family members, as she lost all of her family members. Even she lost her grandchildrenís.
One boy was crying because he lost whole of his family members his parents, brothers and sisters. And he is left alone in this world.
In another case the whole family died leaving behind a one and a half years old baby girl. That one and a half year old baby girl survived but lost her whole family in the blast.
There were even more severe cases in which whole of the family died and even a single member of the family is not left.
There were two priests at the church holding the church service. After the church service one priest was still inside the church and the other one was out in the compound with his whole family. And he (priest) with his whole family died in the blast.
Three of our YWAM Students lost seven of their relatives. So, this incident was very personal to us and for our YWAM family.
Some of the dead bodies were half bodies. And some of the dead bodies were not even half. People needed to collect their body parts to put them in a bag.
According to official sources and media there are about 78 dead and more than 200 injured. But the eyewitnesses and who were attending the church service and survived and the church survey shown that there are more than 129 dead and more than 200 injured.
Till now it is very hard to determine the long-term needs of the people. Because they are still is in trauma. But those who survived but lost their families might get depressed and become addicts and even few might commit suicides.
Those people who lost their limbs canít continue their profession any more. Few families lost their bread-earning member now it will be very hard for them to survive.
And even few children donít even know about their parents properly before knowing them they lost them. Just like that one and a half year old baby girl. It is a very big long-term issue.
Currently we are closely working with the church and families who lost their loved ones, to calculate the long-term effect.
But their immediate need is prayer that God heal the injured and also comfort the families lost their family members.
After the Bomb Blast I got a request from a Bangladeshi pastors Friend to see Mr. Insar, who known to him. Few weeks ago, I was on my way to Peshawar to meet some church bomb blast victims.† Mr. Insar, who lost his son (9), daughter (11), and his brother in law. His wife, brother and brotherís son also terribly injured. On my way I was thinking about what Iím going to say to Mr. Insar?† But, when I met Mr. Insar, he gave me a hug and told me that his son and daughter are in Heaven with our Heavenly Father!! I didnít have to say anything but God spoke to me through him. I REALIZED THAT GOD IS VERY ACTIVE TO COMFORT OTHER PEOPLE AND TO SHOW HIS HEART AND LOVE FOR THEM.
AFTER THE CHURCH BOMBING WE HAVE SEEN SOME VERY GOOD THINGS HAPPENING IN THE PAKISTANI CHURCHES. MOST OF THE CHURCH LEADERS STARTED WORKING TOGETHER, PRAYING TOGETHER, AND HELPING EACH OTHER. WE ALSO NOTICED THAT THE CHURCH PARTICIPATION IS INCREASED. THIS INCIDENT HELPED US TO TEACH THE CHURCHES ON ĎWHY GOD ALLOWS EVIL THINGS IN OUR LIVESí. AFTER HEARING OUR TEACHING SOME PEOPLE TOLD US THAT WE WANT TO SEE HOW MANY MOMB TERRORIST HAS WE WANT TO SEE. WE ARE NOT GOING TO STOP COMING TO CHURCH.
WE HAVE SEEN THE SAMETHING HAPPENED AFTER THE LAHORE JOSEPH CHRISTIAN COLONY BURNED. MORE PEOPLE STARTED COMING TO CHURCH AND ASKING FOR GODíS HELP.
May God bless and protect all the Christians around the world.