“Umeed”- Hope for the victims of Peshawar Church attack

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BOLTON:  A priest from the Church of England anxious over the dilemma of the injured in the Peshawar Church bombings.

A local hospital accommodates the injured in the Church blast
A local hospital accommodates the injured in the Church blast

This concerned minister from the Church of England had himself lost more than 25 members of his extended family in the deleterious suicide bombings in All Saints’ Church, Peshawar on Sep 22. Consequently, he has essentially aired weighty distress about the plight of those injured in the worst ever attack on Pakistan’s Christian community.

 

Rev. Fayaz Adnan- Team Vicar of  West Bolton, was born in Peshawar, and later was baptised, confirmed, and ordained at the All Saints’ Church. Rev. Fayaz Adnan subsequently rushed to Peshawar in the days to follow the most awful attack on a community ever chronicled in Pakistan’s history. Just the once visiting local Christian graveyards, he chalked a vague figure of no less than 200 causalities in the twin suicide bombings: “people were still dying because of those fragments in their bodies,” he figured out.

 

Nonetheless, aside from mounting death toll, he took into consideration the helpless situation of the many injured people still in need of hospital treatment. “It is sad to share with you that the local private hospitals are charging about 30,000 to 40,000 rupees [£300 to £400] a month,” he said. “It is a fortune, there. So, after our discussion with the community members in Peshawar, we are encouraging families to go to the Taxila Mission Hospital, 60 miles away.

 

The hospital is running in very good condition, and we are happy to take those families. We need funds. We are looking for those people to walk back and go into All Saints’ Church and worship the Lord again.”

 

Christian Hospital Taxila was established in 1922, founded by Dr John Gregory Martin of the United Presbyterian Mission. The hospital itself was once knocked for six in August 2002; when terrorists hurled grenades at the hospital’s chapel resulting in loss of four lives.

 

Aware of dismal condition of the sufferers of the All Saints Church bombings; Rev. Fayaz Adnan has launched a relief project named “Umeed – which means “hope” – to raise funds for treatment of those lying helpless in anticipation of financial help for treatment. “What’s more, funds are also required to repair graves of those who died in the attack,” he claimed. Extending a hand of help to the best of their potential Rev. Adnan’s wife, who is registered nurse, now prepares to travel out to Taxila to supervise the project. And so a fund-raising event was held at St Peter’s, Halliwell, and was supported by the writer Adrian Plass.

 

The All Saints’ Church was reopened few days after the attack took place, but Mr Adnan says the congregation was “still in trauma”. Notwithstanding the doting memories of growing up there: “It is the only Anglican Church in the city; so about 20 different colonies around this city wall come to worship here, and every Sunday more than 600 people come to worship together,” he added.

 

The attack came as a bolt from the blue, Rev. Adnan averred, since relations between Christians and Muslims in Peshawar had been good since years. Even if there had been some bias, largely blasphemy cases had been observed in the Punjab and other provinces accordingly “Christians and Muslims have been living together for ages.”

 

In the wake of this horrendous episode of suicide bombings, however, he continues to raise calls by the British Pakistani Christian Association, maintaining that asylum should be given to Pakistani Christians. From the time when he visited the victims Rev. Adnan met the Archbishop of Canterbury, who, he said, was accommodating of his project. Moreover, LambethPalace has also confirmed that Archbishop Welby plans to visit Pakistan next year.

 

All are therefore urged to support Rev. Adnan in facilitating the victims of the All Saints’incident. Donations to Project “Umeed” can be made by cheque, payable to “Manchester DBF”, Church House, 90 Deansgate, Manchester M3 2GH. “Peshawar” should be written on the back of the cheque.