Friday, May 29, 2015

Pray for Persecuted Church: Pakistan

[The Voice of the Martyrs prayer calendar] Pakistan is one of the most corrupt countries in the world. It suffers from chronic sectarian and religiously-motivated violence, including frequent suicide bombings and killings. Though the constitution guarantees religious freedom, Christians increasingly suffer under Pakistan’s three blasphemy laws. One law stipulates that any person who defiles the name of the prophet Muhammad may be punished by life imprisonment or death. Four hundred forty-nine (449) of the 463 people groups in Pakistan are unreached by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Restricted Nation
Muslim 95.8%, Christian 2.5%
Head of State
President Asif Ali Zardari

Christians in Pakistan live under constant threat from fundamentalist Muslims. Muslim employers and neighbours frequently accuse Christians of crimes and blasphemy against Islam, and Christians are assumed guilty. The blasphemy laws are often used unjustly to imprison or otherwise punish Christians for practicing their faith. Government officials do not adequately protect Christians from violence, and those who attack Christians are seldom brought to justice. Last year, Pakistan’s only Christian cabinet member was assassinated for criticizing the blasphemy law and calling for Christian prisoner Asia Bibi’s release. Governor Salmaan Taseer, a Muslim, was also killed because of his support of the repeal of the blasphemy laws. On March 21, 2011, a group of armed Muslims opened fire on Christians at an open-air prayer meeting, killing two of the men. Before their burial ceremony, about 4,000 Christians protested in the streets and demanded that the police arrest the killers.

Pray that Pakistan’s blasphemy law will stop being used as a weapon against Christians

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