Anglicans worldwide expresses shock, sadness over Pakistan bombings

By ACNS staff
Posted Sep 23, 2013

[Anglican Communion News Service] Anglicans in Pakistan and around the world have expressed shock and sadness after two suicide bombers killed about 80 people and injured 200 at a church in Pakistan.

Within hours of the news of the deadly attack on All Saint’s Church in Peshawar, members of the Anglican Communion had spoken out against the attack, called for prayers, and, in India, even arranged a solidarity march.

On the Peshawar diocese website, Bishop Humphrey Peters condemned the attack and expressed his condolences to all the families who lost loved ones. He appealed for Christians in Pakistan and around the world to pray for the affected families.

In a Tweet, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby wrote, “Peshawar bomb reveals depths of human evil, yet those suffering speak of forgiveness as well as justice. That is the love of Jesus shown.”

He also wrote to the moderator of the Church in Pakistan, offering assurance of his prayers and fullest support. He said, “I  am appalled to learn of the attack on All Saints’ Church in Peshawar as people had gathered there to pray. My heart goes out to all those bereaved and injured by this terrible attack.  I pray for the peace of Pakistan and the protection of Christ’s people.  With the people of Peshawar I join in calling for the Pakistan Government and all people of good will to ensure that communities may go about their daily lives in safety, and that the perpetrators are brought to justice.”

Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori released a statement saying, “This act of violence is a reminder of the preciousness and fragility of life, and of our interconnectedness. We are all wounded, we have all lost family, friends, and fellow citizens of the world. We will continue to pray for the bereaved, for the injured, for the perpetrators, for their communities, and for this broken world.”

Diocese of South Western Brazil’s Bishop Francisco Silva prayed “that God would console the bereaved and strengthen the faith of those brothers and sisters who suffer the consequences of religious intolerance.”

Bishop of Amritsar in India Pradeep Samantaroy said, “The ghastly killing of Christians in Peshawar is shocking.” He had been unable to talk to Peters but did convey the diocese’s grief and solidarity to Moderator of the Church of Pakistan, Bishop Samuel Azariah.

Samataroy’s diocese also held a candlelight procession and prayer service yesterday evening to express their solidarity with Christians in Pakistan.

On social media, Anglicans and Episcopalians from around the world have been expressing their sympathy to Christians in Pakistan, in particular to a youth officer of the Church Pakistan, Insar Gohar, who was said to have lost his mother and children in the bomb blast.

In Pakistan, Christians affected by the attack expressed not only sadness, but also anger that they had not been afforded better protection against such violence. Peters said, “The attack on All Saint’s Church is the total failure of the new government of KPK and government has failed to provide security to the minorities in Khayber Pakhtunkhwa, Peshawar Pakistan.”


Comments (7)

  1. Robert w. Scruggs says:

    May I conclude that All Saints’ Church was indeed Anglican? It may be obvious to all but it isn’t clear to me.

    1. Christopher Lo says:

      According to Wikipedia, the Church of Pakistan was established in 1970 with a union of Anglicans, Scottish Presbyterians (Church of Scotland), United Methodists, and Lutherans. It is the only United Church in the South Asia which involves the Lutheran Church. Though united, it is mainly Anglican in theology and outlook, since from the beginning Anglicans formed the bulk of the 800,000 strong membership and most of the important sees.

      More information about the above mentioned Diocese of Peshawar may be found at:

      In February, 2013, Bishop Humphrey Peters (the present Diocesan Bishop of Peshawar) visited the Diocese of Texas as the guest of Bishop C. Andrew Doyle. More information about his visit may be found at:

    2. Lloyd Casson says:

      So what?

      1. Jeanne Daniels says:

        In the wake of such senseless and devastating tragedy, such apathy should perhaps be left unexpressed.

  2. William Brennan says:

    Yes Robert, All Saints is Anglican. May Light Perpetual shine on those who perished.

  3. A clarification about All Saints Church in Peshawar and Anglicanism: All Saints’ was established in 1883 as an Anglican Church under the auspices of CMS. As Christopher Lo points out above, in 1970 the Anglicans of Pakistan united with Lutherans, Methodists and Presbyterians to form the Church of Pakistan. So it is not accurate today to identify All Saints’ Church as an Anglican parish. It is rather a parish, or congregation, of the Diocese of Peshawar, one of the eight dioceses of the Church of Pakistan. It is a Church of Pakistan parish.

    The church unions of south Asia – Church of South India, Church of North India, Church of Pakistan, Church of Bangladesh – have not always gone smoothly. To this day each of these churches is beset by holdouts from the previous denominations who not only do not wish to join but who dispute ownership of property, funds and buildings. Thus it is important to avoid identifying a congregation today by its pre-union denominational affiliation.

    One of the gifts that union brought was that through the united church each of the uniting denominations became integrated into the worldwide fellowships of the other uniting denominations. Thus the Church of Pakistan is equally a member of the Anglican Communion, the Lutheran World Federation, and the comparable Methodist and Presbyterian fellowships.

    Titus Presler, Principal
    Edwardes College, Peshawar

  4. Just a footnote to my note above: I’ve preached at All Saints’ a number of times. My blog has a number of postings on the bombing and its aftermath:

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