Two Salvation Army volunteers were killed when young gunmen opened fire on the 30th anniversary celebration of a church in Hurr Camp, a working-class colony in Hyderabad, Pakistan.
Problems started when a group of Muslim youths gathered outside the building and started playing music loudly on their cell phones. They started yelling insults to Christian women arriving for the celebration.
The church is affiliated with the Salvation Army — and focuses on serving the poor and needy in the area. Four workers went outside and asked the youths to stop disrespecting the women and to respect the sanctity of the church.
The Muslim youths eventually left, but returned with handguns. They then opened fire on the celebration, killing two workers identified only as Younus, age 47, and Jameel, age 22. Two other workers, Siddique, 45, and Waseem, 20, were seriously injured. At last report, they were hospitalized in the capital city of Karachi.
Younis leaves behind a wife and four children. Jameel is survived by a wife to which he had been married only one month.
“The grief of the slain believers’ families has been exacerbated by the police’s indifference to the case,” reports Compass Direct, a watchdog group that offers support to the persecuted church. “Authorities did not even register a case in the killings until late that night, and only did so after local Christians blocked the main highway with the two bodies for some hours.”
Jameel’s paternal uncle, Anwar, has alleged that the police are biased against the Christians, as none of the accused has been arrested so far.
“Please pray for us,” he said.
“Ask God to comfort all those who mourn for Jameel and Younis,” requested Compass Direct, ”filling them with the peace that surpasses understanding in the midst of their grief (Philippians 4:7). Pray that the Lord will bring their murderers to justice. Pray for cross-bearing disciples in Pakistan committed to the Great Commission.”