The Problem

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

Pakistan

Leader:Prime Minister Imran Khan
Population: 204.6 million (4 million Christians)
World Watch List Rank: 5

“We [celebrate Easter] knowing that at any time a suicide bomber can come and disrupt our service, our worship, our praying. Then I think: Will it really be disrupted or will I be sent into the fullness of worship?”
Pakistani Christian mother and former Muslim

The basics

Pakistan is a strongly Islamic society. Christians in Pakistan are generally regarded as second-class citizens, and are only able to have jobs that are regarded as low, dirty and derogatory – two Christian sewage workers who died after not being given any protective clothing in 2018 shows the injustice believers face on a daily basis. The country’s anti-blasphemy laws rigidly defend Islam and are often used to accuse the Christian minority. An estimated 700 Christian women and girls are abducted every year and often forced to marry Muslim men. If their families complain, they are accused of harassing the ‘voluntarily converted’ girl. Churches are heavily monitored and have been regularly targeted for bomb attacks. The more active a church is in outreach and youth work, the stronger the persecution and opposition it faces.

Main threats to Christians

  • Violent attacks by extremists
  • Abduction and forced marriage for women and girls
  • Unfair blasphemy laws

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.
  • 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.
  • At the start of the school year in 2017, seventeen year-old Sharoon Masih was killed by a classmate – indications were that the Sharon was being picked on because of his religion and caste.
  • 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.

Watch these…

Shahzad and Shama’s tragic story…

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.