As an act of solidarity with the Church of Pakistan, the Methodist Church in Britain has granted the Diocese of Peshawar £5000 from the World Mission Fund. The grant is intended to help the victims of the tragic suicide-bomb attack that took place at the All Saints Church of Peshawar on Sunday, 22 September, killing 81 people and leaving over 120 wounded.
The twin suicide-bomb attack against worshippers at the nineteenth century All Saints Church in Peshawar, Pakistan, was reported as one of the worst-ever attacks on a minority religious group within the country.
Following the tragedy, many Christians took to the streets in demonstration and outrage against the lack of protection of religious minorities within the country. On 27 September, 19 people were killed when a bomb planted on a bus carrying government officials exploded in Peshawar. On the following Sunday, 29 September, 42 people died when a car bomb went off in the same city, just metres from All Saints Church.
Steve Pearce, Partnership Coordinator for Asia and the Pacific, said: "Christians and Muslims live in harmony in many communities in Pakistan, but atrocities like the bomb blasts at All Saints Church in Peshawar raise a level of fear among the Christians, who form less than two per cent of the population.
"It is important that the Christian community knows that we are remembering them in prayer and that we have made the effort to send money to help those who are injured and those who have lost their family breadwinner. This grant has been made possible by the generosity of the Methodist people who have donated to the World Mission Fund."
Steve Pearce will be in Pakistan from the 14 -20 October visiting the Diocese of Raiwind and the Diocese of Multan. The Diocese of Multan is linked with the West Yorkshire District, which has partnered in prayers of solidarity with the victims of the attack since it took place.
He added: "My visit this week is a visible sign of our commitment to our Partner Church, the Church of Pakistan, a representation of our solidarity as a worldwide Christian family and a commitment to ongoing partnership."
The Methodist Church's solidarity grant will be used to enable the Diocese of Peshawar to offer further physical and psychological healing to the victims of the attacks and offer compensation to their families who have suffered immense trauma and loss.