|Sources of Persecution||Islamic Oppression|
|Leader||President Mamnoon Hussain|
Pakistan: More Dangerous Than Ever.
In Pakistan it’s becoming even more difficult to be a Christian. Going to church on Sunday is allowed, but strict blasphemy laws restrict believers. Evangelising, converting from Islam, or wearing a cross in public is more dangerous than ever. Muslims make up 95% of the population, while only 2% are Christian. With birth rates rising, Pakistan is on its way to becoming the largest Muslim country in the world.
Islamic extremist groups are also growing in number and illegal extremist groups are re-emerging disguised as charities, working in social services and with young people. Many are at risk of being recruited by these groups.
Christians Are Targets.
The government has attempted to crackdown on extremists. In retaliation, these groups attack Christians and many suffer harassment and face eviction from their homes. Some are spat on in the streets. Forced marriages, sexual assault and kidnappings are frequent. On Easter Sunday 2016, a suicide bomber targeted Christians in Lahore Park. At least 69 people died and over 300 were injured. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.
Believers Most Vulnerable.
There is a high poverty rate in Pakistan and especially for minority groups like Christians. Many have little or no access to education, meaning they struggle to find work. Some find themselves working as bonded labourers, unable to pay back loans which can last for generations. Christians are at the mercy of their employers. They have no way of making legal complaints, or defending their rights.
“My wife Nuzhat had 22 wounds in her body after our church was attacked by extremists. God directed us to [Open Doors partner] Bible college. First my wife was furious at me for suggesting she could take classes there. But it’s amazing to see how she has grown through the singing and music therapy. The singing instructor told her to open her mouth, articulate the sounds and raise her volume. She had to cry in her singing, rejoice in her singing and strengthen her body through the process. The road to recovery is long but I have my wife back.” - Khalil, Pakistani Believer
Pray for blasphemy laws to be lifted and Christians to have the freedom to worship and evangelise.
Pray for young people to find employment and purpose in Christ making them less vulnerable to the Islamic State or Taliban.
Pray that education and employment will be widely available to believers.