Posted by: Titus Presler | December 24, 2014

Diocese of Peshawar cancels public Christmas celebrations in “solace for the total people of God”

Following is a message received from the Rt. Rev. Humphrey Sarfaraz Peters, Bishop of the Diocese of Peshawar, Church of Pakistan, in the wake of the Dec. 16 Taliban attack on Army Public School and Degree College in Peshawar, in which 148 children and teachers were killed:

Thank you for your kind letter of condolence, love and prayers. The recent attack on the Army Public School and Degree College in Peshawar has broken everyone in our region. The double suicide attack at [in September 2013] All Saints Church was of a different nature, but here in the school, shooting in the heads, eyes, mouths and beheading small children is simply brutal and barbarous. No human having the fear of God can do it, but this is how the terrorists did it.

The Diocese has cancelled all its Christmas celebrations. We shall be celebrating Christmas in a simple way. Many people have asked us, “This will be the second Christmas without celebrations?” but we tell them the tiny Church is here to be a source of solace for the total people of God.

Despite all the atrocities, I personally feel the local and the International Church can still play an effective role to be a source of comfort for everyone in this, one of the most dangerous regions, which our Diocese is trying to help in its very humble way.

Recently, we have constructed a church on the border of a Tribal area, and, in addition to five Parishes, we have started two new Parishes in the Tribal areas. We feel it is essential to have the Church presence even in the most dangerous areas. We are also looking after the Christians, Hindus and some Shia Muslim Internally Displaced Persons from the war zone area of Miranshah in Waziristan. I will be spending the evening of Christmas with them in Bannu.

Keep us in your special prayers, especially our Priests and the outreach workers for the guidance of the Holy Spirit and for their protection. Thank you once again for all your love and prayers.

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Responses

  1. Words fail me, but part of the Te Deum comes to mind: “O Lord save thy people and bless thine heritage. Govern them and lift them up forever.”

  2. If we cannot mark Christ’s birth into the world of flesh and blood in this way, in solidarity with everyone everywhere who suffers, then we have forgotten how great the gift of this birth in the first place. Peshawar’s Christians call us to remembrance. May God bless them and their – and our – Muslim sisters and brothers, and Hindus, Jews, Jains, Buddhists, and all people of the earth.

    • Thanks much for your comment, Kitty. I give God thanks for your faithful witness among Buddhists and Muslims in a particular part of the world. God bless.

  3. A spectacular witness to the birth of Christ.


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