Source: Christian Today, September 25, 2023
[On September 22, 2013] at least 122 people were killed when two explosions ripped through All Saints Church in Peshawar and over 250 were injured. Rev. Aftab Gohar’s mother, Iqbal Gohar, was killed in the attack, as were his nieces, nephews, cousins, uncles, aunts, and friends.
He admits it was not easy to forgive their killers but he took inspiration from Corrie Ten Boom, a Dutch woman who survived the Ravensbrück concentration camp after being caught helping Jews to escape the Nazis.
“On the cross, Jesus prayed for those who were crucifying him: ‘Forgive them Father, they don’t know what they are doing.’ Jesus [also] said, ‘Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you’—a lesson that some people find impossible to follow.”
He blames the attack on Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws, which Christians say are often abused to target them.
Rev. Gohar, who grew up in Peshawar and has been a full-time minister in the Church of Scotland since 2008, joined other campaigners in handing in a petition to the Pakistan Consulate in Glasgow [in September].
The petition calls on the Pakistani government to improve safety for religious minorities and use the blasphemy law to punish those who attack Christians.
Read the full story. I like to hear that the teachings of a Middle Eastern Messiah and Dutch holocaust survivor can inspire a British Pakistani man to forgive his family’s enemies in South Asia while advocating for change. We are all connected.