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Pakistan: Three stories from the persecuted church

November 20, 2017

Pakistan is always high on Open Doors’ annual World Watch List. There’s a lot of violence, but what’s affecting the Church even more is the everyday pressure on Christians. Here are seven examples of Christians persevering in faith.

1. Courage in the face of ISIS

Over Easter, Christians were warned by Islamic State that there would be more attacks. Despite the risks they met for a quiet time of worship, but this time nobody lit their candles, as was customary. A six-year-old girl went around the room with her own candle and lit everyone else’s. A woman asked her why they needed to be lit.

“Because the candles remind us that even in the darkness of the tomb, there was the hope of Jesus’ promise.” She said. “When Jesus makes a promise it is like a candle given to us when the lights go out. It is a promise that the lights will come back on again.’”

That Good Friday, the authorities arrested a group plotting to carry out suicide bombings. The threat is real for Christians in Pakistan. “But our faith is real too,” said a mother who brought her children as well. “When I looked around me and I saw all the children, I was delighted that we have them to learn from. Their eyes are so sleepy, yet the eyes of their faith are open so wide.”

2. “The day I learned to read was the best day of my life”

Aroona* didn’t go to school until she was 16. She dropped out when she was six because her mother needed her to help at home. Aroona’s father was addicted to home-brewed alcohol which gave him liver sclerosis. Through our local partner we were able to send Aroona to school. Now she teaches women like herself to read and write.

“The day I learned to read was the best day of my life. When I teach my students to read I feel like I have added colours to God’s painting before He comes back. I can tell them about Jesus and show them the stories in the Bible. There are all kinds of myths about Jesus. If we cannot read, we cannot tell the difference between myth and truth.”

3. Sharing the Word with those stuck in slavery

Modern day slavery is a massive problem in countries like Pakistan. Many Christians are bound to the people they work for. This man and his family have worked as brick makers for two generations.

“There are those among these isolated persecuted Christians who have memorised the scriptures,” said a Christian who evangelises to brick kiln workers.

“They teach it to those around them on the brick making fields as they are not able to go to church or attend gatherings, which are seen as a threat to their employers. The work is hard and the Christians are isolated. Pray for those who work with Christians in brick kilns, for literacy and Bible teaching teams and for those involved in advocacy work to speak out.”

This article originally appeared on Open Doors International Exposure Blog.

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imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.