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Terrorist Attack Outside an Adventist Church in Pakistan Leaves Two Dead

Masked gunman opened fire on people outside a Seventh-day Adventist church in the provincial city of Quetta, Pakistan, on Sunday, April 15, killing two and injuring eight. One of the two killed was the 18-year-old son of an Adventist church member and the other was a member of another Christian congregation. The Islamic State (ISIS) has since claimed responsibility for the attack, which adds to the violent toll already taken on the beleaguered Christian community in Pakistan. Pakistan’s Ministry of Defense estimates that, over the past 17 years, terrorism has killed some 60,000 citizens in attacks that have often targeted Christians, Hindus, Shiites and other religious minorities.

Sunday’s violence took place in Essa Nagri, one of the Christian areas of Quetta. A Catholic news agency quotes an eyewitness who saw four armed men with covered faces ride past the church on two motorcycles and open fire.

Church leaders in the Southern Asia-Pacific Division, which includes Pakistan, condemned the terrorist attack, calling it “senseless” and “brutal.”

“During this difficult time, we are humbled by the care and support of our Christian and Muslim friends,” the statement said. “We ask for prayers and support for the families of those who have lost their loved ones as we mourn this tragedy and look forward to the coming of God. Together, may we seek God’s compassion and peace so that violence and hatred will be overcome.”

There are some 12,000 Adventist Church members in this predominantly Muslim country. Following the attack, the church in Pakistan has pledged to continue its efforts to share “compassion and peace” with fellow citizens through a variety of church-run community programs and initiatives.

Photo from Getty Images: Signs protesting a terrorist attack in October 2017 on the Quetta police training college in Islamabad, Pakistan.

BETTINA KRAUSE | Communication director
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