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April 2015 News

Poverty and Persecution in Pakistan

  • Written by  Mark Wilson
A Christian is beaten by Pakistani police Photo: Courtesy of The Clarion Project

Owing to an escalation in violence and discrimination, the Christian community in Pakistan is under increasing pressure.

Although Pakistan is hailed by some as a more progressive Muslim majority nation - holding ‘democratic’ elections, and previously having a female prime minister - the reality is that as the country has moved further into Islamic fundamentalism, it has retrogressed socially, politically and economically.

Sadly Pakistani Christians are routinely despised and marginalised. Shari’ah is widely practiced in Pakistan, and being deeply discriminatory by nature it relegates Christians as bottom class citizens in their own land. Many Christians are bonded labourers and are paid such a pittance by their Muslim employers that whole families live and die in perpetual poverty.

Many Pakistani Christians are not only treated abominably by their employers, but also by their co-workers and neighbours. 

Last year in 2014 a young Pakistani father was shot dead by a co-worker after refusing to convert to Islam, leaving behind a grieving wife and two small children.

Unfortunately events such as this are not uncommon in Pakistan as pressure to convert to Islam and false allegations of blasphemy leads to the loss of many Christian lives.

Most at danger are Christian women, with them being at continual risk of abduction by Muslim men, forced conversion to Islam and forced marriage to their captors. It is estimated that 1,000 girls are subjected to this outrage each year.

Pray that God will bless and protect his people, comfort those who grieve, and change the attitude of the authorities so that they will shield the Christian community from further abuse and discrimination.

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