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GFA Leader Says Assassination has Global Repercussions

Contact: Taun Cortado, Gospel for Asia, 800-946-2742

CARROLLTON, Texas, December 27 /Christian Newswire/ -- "The assassination of Benazir Bhutto has far-reaching affects across the Indian Subcontinent and around the world," says Dr. K.P. Yohannan, president and founder of Gospel for Asia, which has more than 16,500 missionaries working in the region.

Ms. Bhutto, a Pakistan opposition leader and former prime minister, died Thursday in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, after a suicide attacker shot her twice then detonated the bomb he was carrying. Along with Bhutto, 20 spectators died in the attack.

The leader had just spoken at a political campaign rally to prepare for elections on January 8 and was inside a vehicle at the time of the shooting. She was rushed to the hospital, but despite emergency surgery she could not be saved.

This was the second assassination attempt against Bhutto. The first was in October, and the attack killed at least 136 people and wounded nearly 400.

While no one has taken responsibility for the assassination, many suspect terrorist activity. Many of Bhutto's supporters reacted to the news of her death with riots and violence, which is resulting in much unrest in the country.

"Our GFA leaders in India told me that this event is bringing a huge crisis to the Indian Subcontinent," Dr. Yohannan reported. "Local newspapers indicate that al-Qaida terrorism may now become a factor in South Asia. Regardless of its origin, the stability of the entire region is being shaken."

"Pakistan is one of the largest Muslim countries and has nuclear weapons," he said, "so this event has repercussions throughout the world."

Bhutto served as Pakistan's prime minister in 1988 and 1996. She was viewed by many as a ray of hope for the country's future. Because of the tremendous instability her assassination has caused, the Pakistani government is considering postponing the upcoming elections.

Dr. Yohannan pointed out that the Church, both in Pakistan and in other South Asian nations, is not separated from the larger society.

"This situation affects the kingdom's work," he said, "making life more difficult for everyone.

"But is it my prayer that through this terrible event, the people of Pakistan and India will realize the need for a greater reality. I ask all Christians to join with me in praying for the people of Pakistan, and that God will use this crisis to open the eyes of those who do not know Him."

"We pray for the peace of the entire region," he added.

Gospel for Asia is a mission organization involved in evangelism and church planting in Asia's unreached regions. Currently Gospel for Asia supports more than 16,500 native missionaries in 10 countries. On average, these missionaries establish approximately 10 fellowships every day among unreached villages and people groups. Gospel for Asia is also committed to training native missionaries in its 54 Bible colleges.