|Score:||86 / 100|
|Persecution Type:||Islamic Oppression|
|Government:||Federal Parliamentary Republic|
|Leader:||Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi|
Where Persecution Comes From
Much of the Christian persecution in Pakistan comes from radical Islamic groups that flourish and expand under the favor of political parties, the army and the government. Both the army and the government make a distinction between the “good” and “bad” Taliban. For the time being, these radical Islamic groups run thousands of madrassas, Islamic education centers where youth are taught and encouraged to persecute religious minorities like Christians. While this puts converts to Christianity at risk as well, the main sources of danger for them are their own families, since conversion from Islam is seen as cause for shame.
How Christians are Suffering
While long-standing historic churches have relative freedom in worship and religious activities, they are heavily monitored and regularly targeted for bomb attacks. Churches that are engaged in outreach and youth work face the worst of the persecution, although all Christians suffer from institutionalized discrimination. Occupations deemed as “dirty” and “shameful” are reserved for Christians, and many believers are victims of bonded labor. Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws target religious minorities but affect Christians the most, especially those who seek to evangelize. Discussion of the Christian faith is also known to attract attention from radical Muslims, making it dangerous to engage in faith-related conversations.
Converts who gather for worship or other activities do so at great risk. They are also followed and monitored. Anyone who meets with these converts is investigated as well.
In small townships and villages, Christian parents are forced to send their children to the local madrassa for Islamic education, where children are pressured to convert to Islam at an early age.
Each year, an estimated 700 girls and women are abducted in Pakistan. Some have been abducted, sexually abused, forcefully married to Muslims, and made to convert to Islam.
Christians continue to be killed for accusations of blasphemy, as well as for their low status in society. In June 2017, a Christian sewage worker died in a hospital because three Muslim doctors refused to touch him, thereby making themselves unclean, during their Ramadan fast.
Pray for Pakistan
- Pakistan is an Islamic Republic, and the country suffers at the hands of numerous radical Islamic groups. Please pray for the Pakistani government to pass laws that will protect Christians.
- Pray for Pakistani converts from Muslim backgrounds who suffer the brunt of the persecution in Pakistan. Radical Islamist groups see them as apostates, and their family, friends and neighbors see their conversion as shameful to the community.
- Pray for safety and protection for the Christian women and girls in Pakistan who must live under the threat of abduction, rape and forced marriage.
Stories from Pakistan
Throughout Pakistan (#5 on the 2018 World Watch List), persecution against Christians is rampant. Increasingly, Muslim youth are taught to… + READ MORE
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