On behalf of the Anglican Church of Canada, Archdeacon Michael Thompson expressed sympathy and solidarity with those who are suffering as a result of the recent violent attacks in both Pakistan and Kenya.
The attacks on civilians “remind us that peace is a fragile reality, always vulnerable to those who trust in the power of death to define and shape the world,” he wrote in a statement. “Whether such attacks target Christians, as the bombing outside a Peshawar church did, or shoppers, as in Nairobi, it is the business of the disciples of Jesus to bear witness to the ultimate futility of violence, even as we express compassion and practical concern for its victims.”
In Peshawar, Pakistan, one of two bombings targeted Christians leaving a Sunday service at All Saints’ Church, a parish of the Church of Pakistan. “Canadian Anglicans can hardly imagine what it is to live under the sort of fear imposed by the attack in Peshawar,” wrote Thompson. “We can only watch and witness to the courage and faithfulness of sisters and brothers in that place and give thanks for their continuing witness to the power of love, especially where it is bitterly opposed by those wielding death.”
Thompson also wrote that God welcomes the prayers of the church for the victims of these attacks and for their family, friends and loved ones. And he added, “we follow the One who heralds a new creation, where mourning and crying and pain will be no more, the One whose resurrection we receive as the promise of God making all things new (Revelation 21). Whatever is broken in the world as in the church, God promises to heal.”
Canon Kenneth Kearon, the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion has asked for Communion-wide prayer following the suicide attack on a church in Pakistan that left than 78 dead and more than 100 injured.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby also issued a statement on Sept. 23, saying, “I am praying today for all those who remain hostage in a shopping mall in Nairobi, as well as for their families and friends waiting anxiously for news. I’m praying too for their captors, that they would see and understand that hostility and violence will never be allowed to have the last word.”
The Archbishop also asked for prayers for those who have been kidnapped from Camp Ashraf, a refugee camp in Iraq, as well as for those in Syria.