Posted by: Titus Presler | February 14, 2022

Bishop of Peshawar reports on killings and declares church will continue to be ‘Living Epistle of Christ’ in Pakistan

Peshawar Bishop Humphrey Sarfaraz Peters yesterday wrote to the board of Bridges to Pakistan about the Jan. 30 targeted attack on leaders in the Diocese of Peshawar:

The Rev. Patrick Naeem, our Diocesan Mission Secretary with additional temporary responsibilities as the Priest-in-charge of Shaheedan-e-All Saints (Martyrs of All Saints) Church,  Ring Road, Peshawar City, along with lay Pastor Mr. William Siraj, who was killed, and a third lay member Mr. Inayat Masih while on their way home after celebrating the Sunday Service on the 30th of January at the  Shaheedan-e-All Saints Church faced the unfortunate targeted firing incident.

Mr. William Siraj died on the spot.  Rev. Patrick, driving the vehicle, was wounded, and Mr. Inayat Masih miraculously had no injuries.

Let me share that our Diocese constructed the Shaheedan-e-All Saints (Martyrs of All Saints) Church at Ring Road, Peshawar City, in 2014 in memory of the Martyrs of the double suicide attack at All Saints Church, Kohati Gate, Peshawar City, in 2013.  Seven members of one family living at the Righ Road were killed in the double-suicide attack.  Moreover, the son-in-law of William Siraj was also killed in that double-suicide attack.  The daughter of William Siraj became a widow after the double suicide attack in 2013, and now William Siraj’s wife has become a widow after this recent targeted killing.

It is an alarming situation, but such cowardly acts will not stop the Church in Pakistan from being the Living Epistle of Christ in a difficult environment. Let us pray that such mysteries of martyrdom further strengthen the Body of Christ, enabling us all, wherever we are, to gain further strength to be a source of healing, blessing, reconciliation and joy for the total people of God.

On Sunday the 6th of February myself and Bishop Mano [Rumalshah, bishop emeritus of Peshawar] went to the same church and celebrated the Holy Communion with the local congregation.  It was a blessed moment.

On behalf of the Diocese of Peshawar, Church of Pakistan, thank you for your caring, comforting words and solidarity.  This is much encouraging and appreciable.

With this sad news, a piece of good news: The Diocese has purchased the rented place at Mingora, Swat, where the local congregation is worshiping from the last 30 years. Mingora, Swat, is also the hometown of Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai, who survived a bullet in the head by the Taliban in 2012 for daring to speak out for girls’ education.

Keep us in your prayers.

Kind Regards & prayers

+ Humphrey

Bishop Humphrey Sarfaraz Peters

Bishop of Peshawar (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)

Church of Pakistan 

News of the Jan. 30 attacks appeared in numerous international news venues, readily available on the web, including in Christianity Today.

The September 2013 attack on the historic All Saints’ Church, Kohati Gate, killed more than 80 people and wounded more than 100 (see other posts on this blog from that period).  That is the church from which the annual pre-dawn Easter procession starts.  The Martyrs of All Saints Church to which Bp. Humphrey refers was founded as a memorial to the 2013 event.  I had the privilege of attending and preaching at All Saints Church a number of times during my time as principal of Edwardes College, Peshawar, a ministry in which Bp. Humphrey was deeply supportive.

Bridges to Pakistan is a U.S.-based organization that supports the Diocese of Peshawar through fundraising and other initiatives.  It is a member organization of the Global Episcopal Mission Network.

The recent killings highlight the pressure that Christians in Pakistan live under and remind us to be in solidarity with them through prayer and encouragement.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: