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Praying for the Persecuted Church in Len...

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Praying for the Persecuted Church in Lent - Pakistan

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Praying for the Persecuted Church in Lent - Pakistan

Project(s): 41-331, 41-432, 41-465, 41-499, 41-697, 41-839

Country/Region: Pakistan

Tradition traces the beginnings of Christianity in Pakistan to the apostle Thomas, and some churches in the Indian subcontinent have a long history. But the Church in what is now Pakistan was wiped out by Islam in the 14th century, and did not re-establish a presence until the 16th century. An increase in missionary activity from the 19th century led to the conversion of many people, mainly Hindus, between 1890 and 1930, and missions continued to operate even after Pakistan’s independence in 1947. Christians are now the largest non-Muslim religious group in the country, but the approximately 4 million people comprise only about 2.5% of the population. Pakistan is 96% Muslim.

Pakistan
Discrimination against Christians is widespread in Pakistan, and many live in severe poverty

The history of Pakistan since independence in 1947 has been one of slow and gradual Islamisation. Sharia law has been partially implemented, and has a significant place in the legal and taxation systems and in public life generally. The “blasphemy law” prescribes the death penalty for “defiling the name of” Muhammad, and a life sentence is mandatory for desecration of the Qur‘an. Many false and malicious accusations of blasphemy are made, and Christians are very vulnerable to accusations by Muslims.

Social, political and even legal discrimination against Christians is widespread. As a result most can get only menial and low-paid jobs, and therefore live in poverty, despised by their Muslim neighbours. Their testimony in court may be treated as of less worth than a Muslim’s. Many Christian girls are abducted and forced to convert to Islam. Last year saw an unprecedented number of violent incidents against Christian communities, in which many homes and churches were burned by Muslim mobs and some Christians died.

Barnabas Fund projects in Pakistan include:

Feeding needy Christian families (Ref. 41-331)
Support for Pakistani evangelists (Ref. 41-432)
Legal team defending Christian victims (Ref. 41-465)
Christian school (Ref. 41-499)
Women’s health and education project (Ref. 41-697)
Victims of mob violence in Gojra and Korian (Ref. 41-839)
Please Pray:

Christians in the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan are coming under increasing pressure to live according to Islamic customs, and in some places sharia is being strictly enforced.

  • Pray for our brothers and sisters, that the Lord will keep them safe in the midst of violence and instability, and ask that they may find strength and hope in the Lord Jesus.

  • Pray too that the progress of Islamist groups in Pakistan will be checked and then reversed, and that mob violence against Christians will cease.
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christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

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Daily prayer

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  • “Jesus Christ performed tremendous miracles in all our lives through this Shalom Camp.” A pastor spoke of how God had worked through a Barnabas-sponsored weekend Bible camp for persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka. The camp was attended by believers from five different churches that had been the target of threats or attacks by Buddhist or Hindu extremists. The participants heard teaching on the Biblical basis for persecution and took part in group discussions; they came away refreshed and encouraged, and for many the camp was a time of great spiritual renewal. Give thanks to the Lord for the peace He has brought to these persecuted believers, and ask that the weekend will continue to bear much fruit in their lives. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 11 hours ago

  • Pray for a church leader in Sri Lanka, S.S. Johnpillai, who was threatened at gunpoint by attackers who claimed to be Special Forces officers. The minister was in a hut next to his church building in Guadalupe, Trincomolee when, he said, the men “appeared out of nowhere”. The intruders put a gun to Johnpillai’s head and accused him of holding a Communion service in honour of the founder of the Tamil Tigers, the government’s opponents in the country’s long and bloody civil war. The government had that day made it a criminal offence to commemorate the group. The gunmen ignored Johnpillai’s protests that he had not dedicated Communion to the group’s founder, and they threatened to shoot him. Ask the Lord to support and strengthen Johnpillai as he recovers from this terrifying ordeal. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Lift up to the Lord persecuted Christians in Sri Lanka, where at least 65 anti-Christian incidents took place during 2013, including repeat attacks on several believers and their property in October 2013. However, a Sri Lankan government minister from a Buddhist nationalist party denied the accounts, saying that they might be “made up”. The minister claimed that Sri Lankans are “one family … trying to live together after a long civil war”. Pray that the Sri Lankan government will recognise the danger that our brothers and sisters face from militant Buddhists and that the authorities will provide effective protection for vulnerable Christians. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Condemned Christian mother Aasia Bibi’s final appeal hearing is scheduled to take place tomorrow (14 April) having been deferred twice. She was sentenced to death for blasphemy in November 2010 having been falsely accused of insulting Muhammad following an argument with Muslim co-workers. Aasia has been languishing in jail since the accusation was made in June 2009. Pray that her appeal will finally go ahead and that the judges will have the courage to acquit and release Aasia; there are concerns that they may give in to pressure from hardline Islamists who have been calling for her execution. Pray that Aasia, her husband and children will know the Lord’s peace as they await the verdict. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Indians have started going to the polls this week in a general election that is taking place in phases until 12 May. The ruling, secular Congress party is expected to be defeated by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). This would be an ominous outcome for the country’s Christian minority. The BJP has given support to extremist groups that attack Christians; states under the party’s rule have generally experienced a rise in anti-Christian violence. It has introduced anti-conversion laws on a state level, and has pledged to introduce national legislation to curb "missionary" activity and end proselytising if elected nationally. Pray for wisdom for Indians as they vote and that the outcome will result in a just government that upholds the rights and freedoms of all citizens. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sat, Apr 2014 00:00

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