Leader of The Salvation Army in Pakistan murdered
Colonel Bo Brekke, Territorial Commander of the Pakistan Territory, was shot and killed yesterday, Thursday 27 September. The incident occurred in the THQ compound in Lahore in the early hours of the evening. Information to date points to an individual act of criminality. There is nothing to suggest that this is related in any way to terrorism. It is reported that a man has been arrested on possibly related charges.
The incident occurred at about 6.30 pm local time while Colonel Brekke was working alone in his office. The colonel’s wife, Colonel Birgitte Brekke, was in London at the time, attending meetings at The Salvation Army’s International Headquarters.
A Norwegian by birth, Bo Brekke, who was 50, was commissioned as a Salvation Army officer in May 1980 and appointed in charge of the Army’s work in Brevik, Norway. The following year he transferred to local Salvation Army leadership in Denmark, the homeland of his wife. After two years in Denmark, Bo and Birgitte returned to Norway and served there until transfer to Sri Lanka at the beginning of 1987. They returned to Norway in 1993, serving there for the next two years.
Having developed a deep love for South Asia and its people, Bo and Birgitte Brekke in August 1995 were appointed as regional leaders to Bangladesh. Under their leadership the work of The Salvation Army flourished there and in 1997 the then Major Bo Brekke was appointed as Officer Commanding, with Birgitte serving alongside him as Command President of Women’s Ministries and Command Youth Officer.
The late summer of 2002 saw a further change of culture and working environment as Bo and Birgitte were appointed as divisional leaders of the North Scotland Division in the United Kingdom Territory, followed by service respectively as Chief Secretary and Secretary for Mission Development in the Eastern Europe Territory. It was from there that, almost exactly one year ago (15 September 2006) Colonel Bo Brekke was appointed as Territorial Commander of the Pakistan Territory.
At the time of her husband’s death, Colonel Birgitte Brekke was attending meetings at International Headquarters. She immediately flew to Norway to be with her two sons, Benjamin and Bo Christoffer, and other family members. She was accompanied by her sister who had come to London to see Birgitte while she was visiting IHQ.
General Shaw Clifton, world leader of The Salvation Army, said: ‘Colonel Bo Brekke was a Salvation Army leader of unusual and distinctive talents. Both he and his wife, Colonel Birgitte Brekke, were known for their hearts of compassion towards the marginalised. Their service together in many lands has been marked by creativity and imagination in order to reach out to the poor, giving them dignity, and also to share their personal faith as Salvationists in the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour. I have known the Brekkes for many years and have always admired them greatly. Bo Brekke was my friend. I feel blessed to have known him and to have witnessed first hand how he and Birgitte have faithfully served the needs of others.’
General Shaw Clifton and Commissioner Helen Clifton, World President of Women’s Ministries, will in due course conduct the colonel’s funeral in Oslo, Norway