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