Two days of rioting in the streets surrounding Karachi Adventist Hospital, or KAH, in this Pakistani seaport city did not touch the campus of the facility, according to administrators.
The riots first broke out on May 30 after an Islamic religious scholar, Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai, was shot dead while his son, nephew and the driver were injured in an ambush near the Jamia Islamia Binoria in the city’s New Town area.
Shamzai’s supporters killed 15 people, injured a dozen, including eight policemen, and damaged property, including the Quaid-e-Azam Academy and a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet. According to Donald Jacob, Karachi Adventist Hospital administrator, tires were burned in the street in front of the hospital, and debris was hurled across the street at a nearby cinema.
“All I could think to do was pray,” says Jacob, “so I went to my office and asked our Lord to help in this time of trouble. God’s angels were protecting KAH because it was not damaged.”
Two days later, funerals were held for the 15 people killed in Sunday’s rioting. The road in front of the hospital was closed and, by 2 p.m., the mayhem started again in the street, Jacob reports. Part of the neighboring Hamdarad University Hospital was set on fire, while shops and buses sustained gunfire damage.
“The administrative committee which was due to take place that day at KAH was cancelled and instead they spent some time in prayer. Then the committee members took precautionary action, moving patients away from the front of the hospital and making sure employees and patients were safe,” Jacob adds.
Karachi Adventist Hospital was established in 1950. There are more than 8,000 Seventh-day Adventist believers in Pakistan.