Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated Dec. 27. We asked several people how the new political climate might affect the work of the church in the region.

Below are responses we’ve received thus far. Check back soon for updates and additions, especially from some directly in or involved with the work in Pakistan.

Michael E. Brooks, Bangladesh: As you know, Bangladesh was part of Pakistan (as East Pakistan) 1947-1971. Parting was not amicable and there is much animosity among many Bengalis towards Pakistan. However, there are some (Islamic fundamentalists in particular) who were opposed to independence and remain pro-Pakistani. I would expect that this assassination, especially if proven to be by fundamentalist Islamics and if it results in any destabilization of democratic processes, to provide inspiration for similar tactics in Bangladesh. It is too early to tell for sure, and this is my initial expectation only. It adds another touch of urgency to our work, that we may continue to “work while it is day; the night comes when no one can work.”

Dennis and Beth Johnson in Chennai, India: We just heard the news, so have no idea what will happen yet. We will do our best to watch the reactions of people here and let you know what we see. I imagine much will depend upon who did the deed. We are praying much for the political situation so that we can lead a “quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”

For a spiritual application of Bhutto’s assassination, see Tim Hall, The Power of an Extremist



  1. we describe Mrs.Bhutto’s assasination as a a very brutal act by the terrorists. Evidently, according to the Television news, Political Scholars, the main reason Mrs. Bhutto was targeted is that she is having close relations with US Government and some other western countries as they are encouraging her in order to form a democratic Govt. in Pakistan for the well being of the people in Pakistan also in order to fignt against extremism.

    Pakistan present crisis is a red alert for India. India was keeping its fingers crossed in the hope that Pakistan—often described as the “most dangerous” place on earth, with jehadis virtually having a free run of the nuclear-armed nation—did not implode.

    As the Mission work in Pakistan is concerned, we think, things are going to be very tough, the main reason is, most of the missionaries are from USA, UK and other western countries. Hope you all heard the response of Mr.BUSH on the telivision channels. Keeping all these things in mind, we need to be careful on our mission efforts being done in Pakistan.
    Let’s pray & hope that the things become normal very soon with peace & harmony among the people.
    Thank you all,

    In His service,
    Chorlian K. Samson
    Sathupalli church of Christ
    P.O.Box-3, Gandhinagar-6, Sathupalli
    Khammam District–507303, AP,

  2. I am traveling with two other brethren to teach some denominationalists in the Chittagong area of Bangladesh in a couple of weeks and I also wondered what impact this might have on political feelings there. Please pray especially that we may have success with the people there in religious error.

  3. One of the members where I work is married to a man who grew up in Pakistan and the majority of his family still lives there. He says he was fortunate to get out (even though he did not want to leave) when he was college age. His father (a barrister) encouraged (forced) him to go to school in US. Somehow he met a young lady from Parrish, Alabama. They moved back here almost 10 years ago. Arshaad is now a naturalized US citizen. After the assasination I asked about his family in Pakistan. He said it took 24 hours for all his family to get together and make sure everyone was safe and alive. Many of them want to come to the US to escape the violence and to have a go at the American dream, but now those opportunities are stopped. They cannot even get a “tourist visa” out of Pakistan. They feel trapped, they fear for their safety and the future of their country.

    While not agreeing with the policies of the current Pakistan Presidency, Arshaad feels that Bhutto made a critical mistake by going back to Pakistan. His statement to me was that she could still be doing good to affect postitive change if “she never got off the plane” in Pakistan. I hear in his voice disappointment for the nature of politics in his homeland. In talking with his family in Pakistan he seems convinced that this act is not militant Muslim, but is politically motivate and specifically the “long arm” of President Pervez Musharraf.

    Whatever the truth of the events of her assassination is, Christians have the reponsibilty to pray for the future of Pakistan, the safety of Christians who live there, and the impact of these events on the spread of the Gospel. We must remind those in the region of Paul’s instructions to Timothy that prayers, suplications, requests, and thanks giving be made for all men . . . that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in godliness (cf. 1 Tim 2:1-7).