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Global Christian and Muslim Leaders Call for Prayers for Pakistani Church Suicide Bombing Victims

( [email protected] ) Sep 23, 2013 07:10 PM EDT

Members of the Pakistani Christian community attend a protest rally to condemn Sunday's suicide attack in Peshawar on a church, in Islamabad September 23, 2013. A pair of suicide bombers blew themselves up outside the 130-year-old Anglican church in Pakistan after Sunday mass, killing at least 78 people in the deadliest attack on Christians in the predominantly Muslim country. REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood
Members of the Pakistani Christian community attend a protest rally to condemn Sunday's suicide attack in Peshawar on a church, in Islamabad September 23, 2013. A pair of suicide bombers blew themselves up outside the 130-year-old Anglican church in Pakistan after Sunday mass, killing at least 78 people in the deadliest attack on Christians in the predominantly Muslim country. REUTERS/Faisal Mahmood

Christian and Muslim leaders around the world are calling for prayers for the injured and families of all victims of the Pakistani Church bombing that killed 81 people and injured 140 others.

As parishioners head out after Sunday mass ended, two suicide bombers detonated their explosive devices inside and outside of All Saints Church on the morning of September 22.

"In this time of tragedy, let us pray not only for healing and comfort, but also that God will continue using it to provide peace and turn sympathies toward Pakistani believers who have faced much persecution in the past," said K. P. Yohannan, founder and director of Gospel for Asia. "As the Bible says, when one of us suffers, we all suffer."

Among those killed were 34 women and seven children, including two Muslim police officers.

A splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying they "will continue to strike wherever we will find an opportunity against non-Muslims" until their political demands are met.

In a country where only 3 percent are Christians, many Muslims expressed sympathy and outrage at the attack on peaceful worshippers, and government officials have condemned the attack. "Such cruel acts of terrorism reflect the brutality and inhumane mindset of the terrorists," said Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Members of the Pakistani Christian community hold up a sign and chant slogans during a protest rally to condemn Sunday's suicide attack in Peshawar on a church, in Karachi September 23, 2013. A pair of suicide bombers blew themselves up outside the 130-year-old Anglican church in Pakistan after Sunday mass, killing at least 78 people in the deadliest attack on Christians in the predominantly Muslim country. REUTERS/Athar Hussain
Members of the Pakistani Christian community hold up a sign and chant slogans during a protest rally to condemn Sunday's suicide attack in Peshawar on a church, in Karachi September 23, 2013. A pair of suicide bombers blew themselves up outside the 130-year-old Anglican church in Pakistan after Sunday mass, killing at least 78 people in the deadliest attack on Christians in the predominantly Muslim country. REUTERS/Athar Hussain

Muslim and Christian leaders around the world have called for a time of prayer for the victims of the bombing. "We are with our Christian brothers and sisters in this time of grief and sorrow," said Pakistan Ulema Council Chairman Hafiz Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi.

Gospel for Asia is specifically calling people to pray for:·        

  •  Healing and comfort for the victims and their families. 
  • Grace for Pakistan's Christian leaders and other believers ministering to the victims.
  • Changed hearts in the people who planned this and future attacks.
  • Wisdom for Pakistan's leaders as they determine the best way to deal with terrorists in religious persecution in their nation.
  • Peace in Pakistan.