Lahore (Agenzia Fides) – “We do not need and do not want a civil war. We Christians are people of peace. Do not let the pain cloud our eyes. What future do we want to build for Pakistan? A future of harmony and reconciliation”: this is what the Archbishop of Lahore, Sebastian Shaw said to a crowd of over 10 thousand faithful who took part in the funeral of the victims of the St. John Church (Catholic) and Christ Church (Protestant) attack in Youhanabad, Christian suburb on the outskirts of Lahore.
The celebration of the funeral, which was held in the Catholic church of St. John, was ecumenical: it was attended by the Catholic and Protestant Archbishops of Lahore. The victims and the families present belonged to both Christian communities: the funeral of the victims of both attacks was celebrated as a sign of profound communion. The funeral was also attended by representatives of civil authorities and some Muslim leaders came as a sign of solidarity with Christians.
In an interview with Agenzia Fides, Archbishop Shaw said: “We have reiterated that violence is not the right path. The Gospel calls us to Always be, in every circumstance men of peace. Today, in this pain, we can pray and seek consolation in God. Christ is our consolation”. The Bishop stressed that “Christians today want peace and security. As Pakistani citizens, we ask the government security and protection, in order to live in harmony and to help build a just, peaceful and fraternal nation”.
The bodies of the victims were taken to the cemetery in Lahore, where they received proper burial. “We are in mourning, but our faith sustains us. The Lord does not abandon us in this ordeal”, says to Fides don Asharf Gill, a priest of the diocese of Lahore. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 17/03/2015)
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:9-11
Eye for Eye
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth. But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. Matthew 5:38-42
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. Romans 12:19 (words we must remember and live by)
“In your anger do not sin” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Ephesians 4:26-27
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:10-12
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
In love, we stand with Pakistani Christians and pray for their endurance. Be strong brothers and sisters, God is with you.
Voice of the Persecuted is an interdenominational organization standing with and stepping up for the persecuted. Together with your generous support, we can reach the goal to alleviate their suffering. In darkness and desperation, let us serve in love, with open arms and giving hands to provide light and hope.
Everyday, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and further His Kingdom! As you have greatly blessed others, may God continue to bless you. Thank you so much for your support. We couldn’t do it without you!