PAKISTAN

Conversion from Islam brings great shame to family and community, and danger for the new believer in Pakistan

Pakistan

World Watch List Rank World Watch List Score
5 86/100
Leader Population
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi 197 million | 3.9 million Christians
Main Religion Government
Islam Republic
WWL Rank in 2017 Persecution Level
4 Extreme Persecution

PERSECUTION IN PAKISTAN

In Pakistan, radical Islamic groups do not just exist, they can flourish and expand because some of them are courted by political parties, the army and the government. Especially the army continues to follow a policy of distinguishing between good and bad Taliban, which is widely followed by the government. Until this changes, radical Islamic groups will continue to run thousands of madrassas (in which no-one knows exactly what is taught or how they are financed) and they will be able to stir up citizens (especially youth) all across the country encouraging them to act against religious minorities such as Christians. Converts face these hostile forces as well, but for them the main danger comes from their own families as conversion away from Islam is a great shame for family and community.

How Christians are Suffering

Historic churches have relative freedom for worship and other activities, however, they are heavily monitored and have regularly been targeted for bomb attacks (but no bombings were successful in the WWL 2018 reporting period). Christian churches more active in outreach and youth-work face stronger persecution in society. All Christians suffer from institutionalized discrimination, illustrated by the fact that occupations seen as low, dirty and derogatory are officially reserved for Christians. Many Christians are anyway poor and several are victims of bonded labor.

On the other hand, there are many Christians belonging to the middle class as well, but this does not save them from being marginalized or persecuted. The country’s notorious blasphemy laws target religious minorities (including Muslim minorities), but affect the Christian minority in particular.

A new development was the killing of two Chinese Christians, working in Pakistan, 24 year-old Li Xinheng and 26 year-old Meng Lisi, in May 2017. They were killed by militants connected to the Islamic State group which accused them of proselytizing.

But your support and prayers make a real difference to the lives of our brothers and sisters facing extreme persecution in Pakistan. One believer, whose wife has received trauma care through a local partner, says: "My wife Nuzhat had 22 wounds in her body after our church was attacked by extremists. It's amazing to see how she has grown through the singing and music therapy. The road to recovery is long but I have my wife back."

HOW WE HELP

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.

RECENT STORIES FROM Pakistan

Pakistani Supreme Court Orders Release of Aasiya Bibi; Christians Fear Reprisals

07th Nov 2018

Found in Stories

The Pakistani Supreme Court has just ordered the immediate release of Aasiya Bibi, the Christian woman who has spent over 8 years on death row.

Read More

Pray for Asia Bibi

26th Apr 2018

Found in Stories

Bibi, sentenced to death in Pakistan on blasphemy charges, may be tried on appeal on Friday.

Read More

RECENT POSTS FROM Pakistan

Pakistan’s elections – 5 things you must know

Pakistan’s elections – 5 things you must know

Jul 24, 2018

Author Open Doors Canada

The country of Pakistan prepares for national and provincial elections on July 25. We request prayer for Pakistani Christians at…

Read More
Drops of Hope

Drops of Hope

Jun 22, 2018

Author Open Doors Canada

Pakistan is always high on Open Doors’ annual World Watch List. There’s a lot of violence, but what’s affecting the…

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Brother Andrew reminds believers in Pakistan: ‘We are here for the Book’

Brother Andrew reminds believers in Pakistan: ‘We are here for the Book’

Jun 14, 2018

Author Monica Ratra

The Dutchman who became known as ‘God’s Smuggler’ celebrated his 90th birthday just days after a rare trip to his beloved…

Read More

PRAYER POINTS FOR PAKISTAN

  • Ask God to protect Christian women and girls at risk of abduction, rape, forced marriage and forced conversion to Islam
  • That Pakistan’s laws will protect Christians from the strategies of radical Islamic groups
  • That God’s gracious presence in the lives of believers from Muslim backgrounds will be winsome to others.

 

 

 

 

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TAKE ACTION

  • Pray for those that are suffering by reading the latest prayer requests from persecuted Christians around the world.
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  • Advocate for persecuted Christians by signing the Hope for Middle East Petition.
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  • Consider donating your resources to Open Doors.
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