Monday, May 24, 2010

Pakistan Part Two

I wrote this for our church newsletter:

For Christians in Pakistan, the persecution has never been worse.

Globally, militant Islam has been on the rise for several decades, and this has been seen in Pakistan as well. However, tensions rose dramatically with 9/11 and the ensuing war in neighboring Afghanistan. From mosque to mosque and town to town came a cry of revenge: “For every Muslim killed in Afghanistan, kill two Christians in Pakistan.”

There is a very strong sense of brotherhood within Islam. If a Muslim anywhere in the world is offended, injured, or killed, or if Islam is treated with disrespect, Muslims all over the world will respond with protests and demands for justice. Though Christians profess a similar doctrine as a key tenet of our faith (I believe in the holy catholic [universal] church…), we often are not aware of the suffering our brothers and sisters in Christ are enduring, and we rarely respond to their persecution.

In Pakistan, Christians faithfully attend church services, not knowing if they will walk out unharmed. Christian villages and their residents have been burned. A harsh Islamic blasphemy law makes it illegal to even compare Mohammed, the Koran, or Allah to Christianity—much less actually share the gospel. Scores of Christians have been imprisoned or martyred on charges of blasphemy, which are often completely false. Pakistani Christians seeking asylum in the United States are often met with unsympathetic immigration judges who do not understand the reality of the death threats they have received from radical Islam.

The stories of many, many Pakistani Christians are too horrendous to share in this publication, but they are real. We must not turn a blind eye to those who suffer. They are our brothers and sisters in Christ, and we have to support them, though we know nothing of the reality they face every day.

Pray for Pakistan. Pray when you learn of international news and politics. Pray for the Christian Pakistani community here in America as they try to intervene on behalf of endangered family and friends. Pray that God would protect strengthen, and encourage His people, especially those imprisoned and experiencing severe persecution. Pray that Christians would be faithful lights in the midst of great darkness and that God would draw many unto Himself. Pray that the strongholds of Islam would be broken and that God’s glory would be displayed in Pakistan and throughout the earth.

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