(Image courtesy Voice of the Martyrs Canada)
Pakistan (VCM/MNN) ― Pakistani police are investigating the shooting of a Christian worker in Lahore last Monday.
Voice of the Martyrs Canada contacts confirm that Birgitta Almeby, Area Director of Full Gospel Assemblies (FGA) in Lahore, Pakistan, was recuperating at Jinnah Hospital. They say Almeby spent the week in critical condition after two unidentified gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire as she arrived home from work.
Although the doctors were able to remove the bullet from her chest, the shooting caused considerable damage to the 70-year-old woman's lungs and jugular vein. On Friday, VOM Canada reported Dr. Ali Usman as saying, "We have kept her in the Intensive Care Unit, where her situation is precarious because of the excessive bleeding."
Almeby was a familiar figure around the Christian community in Lahore. For 38 years, she served in Pakistan---some of that time with the FGA, which describes itself as a "church fellowship." The organization runs charities in Pakistan, including a technical training institute, an adult literacy center, and orphanages.
VOM Canada sources say while the investigation is in its early stages, Islamist extremists may be responsible for the attack. They've been increasingly targeting Christians in Pakistan, who are a beleaguered minority of about 2.5% in a country of 176.7 million, which is 96% Muslim.
However, despite the oppression, VOM Canada says Christian leaders have been reporting a steady but significant trickle of Muslims responding to the Gospel and joining churches.
As a marginalized community, many of their struggling fellow believers in Pakistan will be the recipients of VOM Canada's "Christmas Blessing" packages throughout the Christmas season. It's a source of encouragement at a time when it's becoming increasingly dangerous for followers of Christ to openly share their faith.
VOM Canada asks for Christians to come alongside the Pakistani church in prayer. Ask God to intervene, not only sparing Birgitta's life, but also ministering complete healing to the areas wounded by the attack.
Please also pray that He will bring much-needed peace and encouragement to her family and fellow Christian workers, as well as to all those in the community she so lovingly served. Pray that through this situation, people's hearts would open to the peace and love of Christ, and that communities would be transformed.