Pakistan Elections | What To Know, How To Pray And Why It Matters
The voting for Pakistan 2018 general elections took place on 25 July, a country that ranks the fifth most dangerous to follow Jesus on the World Watch List.
There is a total of 342 seats up for grabs, out of which 272 are general seats anyone can go for but in reality, only Muslim candidates win. The remaining 70 are special seats reserved for women (60) and ethnic minority candidates (10).
This should make sure that women and minorities such as Hindus and Christians have a fair representation in parliament. However, this is not always the case.
Among the thousands of candidates, no Christians were nominated by any party.
In the 210-million-strong nation, minorities make up around 5% of the population, but they remain absent from mainstream politics, with the country’s constitution even encouraging segregation between Muslims and non-Muslims in the political arena.
“There’s no party who really stands in the gap for non-Muslims. Who will build legislature to protect us against discrimination and Islamic extremism?” a local Christian said.
Prayer Makes A Difference
An Open Doors partner in Pakistan told us, “It [prayer] matters a lot to our persecuted family in Pakistan. Many times they pray for our countries, now they ask us to pray for them.”
So, how should we pray? We asked our local church network for prayer points.
- “Pray for wisdom, that God shows the Christians who to vote for and that this person’s party will win the elections,” said a church leader.
- “Pray for health care policy.” Says a Christian doctor, who added, “Day and night I care for patients and it breaks my heart that probably while I am treating Muslims, Christians are being turned away from the door of the hospital.”
- A young Christian woman asks us to pray for the brick kiln workers and farmers, who told a newspaper that they’re not interested in the outcome of the elections, since “Nobody cares about us anyway.”
- Pray with pastor Sharoz*, “I sense that a difficult season is ahead of us. Please pray that we will stand up against, and not flee from, darkness”.
*Names changed for security purposes.
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