The Problem

100,000 million Christians face persecution simply for following Jesus 
The Problem

Pakistan

Leader: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
Population: 196.7 million (3.9 million Christians)
Main Religion: Islam
Government: Islamic Republic
Source of Persecution: Islamic extremism
World Watch List Rank: 4

“You are clever, you are gifted. But you are a Christian, so you will become a sweeper. Why wouldn’t you convert to Islam?”
Comment made to a Christian teenage girl

The basics

Christians experience more violence in Pakistan than almost anywhere else. The nation’s infamous blasphemy laws are abused to settle personal scores, particularly against minorities including Christians.

An estimated 700 Christian women and girls are abducted every year in Pakistan. They are often raped and forced to marry Muslim men, which also involves forced conversion. If their families complain, they are accused of harassing the ‘voluntarily converted’ girl and her new family.

In 2015 a pregnant woman and her husband were thrown into the kiln where they worked and burned to death after being accused of blasphemy, orphaning their four children. The same year, two churches in Lahore were bombed, killing 25 people and wounding dozens. On Easter Sunday, 2016, a bomb exploded in a park in Lahore killing at least 69 people – they were largely Christian families. The Taliban claimed responsibility, targeting the Christian minority. Girls face explicit

The facts

  • A rise in Islamic extremism has meant large scale intolerance of differing views on faith.
  • Insulting Islam can mean a death sentence.
  • Allegations of insulting Islam can quickly escalate, with mobs taking the law into their own hands.
  • Christians still meet in church buildings, but services are monitored and sometimes attacked. Guards are hired to protect meetings.
  • In March 2015, two churches in Lahore were bombed by an extremist group in an attack that left 14 people dead and 70 injured.
  • On Easter Sunday 2016, a bomb exploded in a park in Lahore. The Taliban claimed responsibility, explicitly stating they targeted Christians – 69 people were killed.
  • Christians are in the minority and treated as second class citizens.
  • Estimates suggest up to 700 Christian girls are kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam every year.

Where is it?

Pray this

Lord God,
even when things aren’t fair, when systems are broken and faith is shattered, I still trust You. Be known in Pakistan. Be known by extremists and militants. Be known through Christians who keep on loving even when the hatred seems never-ending. Bless and equip Your church there. Protect the vulnerable and guard the faith of those facing intimidation and harassment. Grow the Church. Use it to bring many to You. Do it Lord, I pray.
Amen.

Other things to pray for…

  • For safety for Christians in Pakistan, and for particular protection for women and girls
  • For comfort and courage for Christian children, who are often bullied at school and sometimes even banned from using the same water fountain as other students as they will ‘defile’ the water source
  • For strength for Christians from a Muslim background, who are often physically attacked, rejected by their communities or even cursed using occult practices.
  • For the Pakistani government to pass laws that will protect the Christians in the country.

More detailed info…

The good news: How we’re helping…

In cooperation with local churches and other partnering ministries, Open Doors supports the church in Pakistan through:

  • Training (eg pastor’s training, literacy training and vocational projects)
  • Emergency aid to victims of violent persecution
  • Women’s ministry
  • Bible literacy
  • Counselling and trauma therapy.

Latest news and articles on Pakistan…

Click the Pakistan tag below for a list of the latest articles and news on the country…

We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.