|Last year’s rank||8|
|Population||229 489 000|
|Christians||4 194 000|
Pakistan continues to be one of the countries where it is most difficult to live as a Christian.
Christians here are considered second-class citizens and face discrimination in every aspect of life. Jobs that are seen as low, dirty and degrading are reserved for Christians by the authorities, who continue to push them to the margins of society. They lack proper representation in politics and although there were no major attacks against churches last year, there are almost constant attacks against individuals. Many do not feel safe to worship freely.
Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws target religious minorities (including Muslim minorities) but affect the Christian minority in particular. The number of blasphemy cases (which is punishable by death) is increasing. There are growing numbers of Christian (and other minority religion) girls being abducted, abused and forcibly converted to Islam.
Christians also experience apathy from the authorities who should protect them. The police force is more interested in appeasing local strongmen than implementing the law and protecting minorities. Christians feel vulnerable without a trusted authority to protect their rights.
“When our hands are empty of bread, we have found it is good to raise them to heaven. God provides. Somehow, he is getting us and our children through this time.”
Raqia, schoolteacher affected by the 2022 floods.
How does Open Doors support our family in Pakistan?
Open Doors is active in the Persian Gulf countries through a network of partner churches, but for security reasons, we cannot say what we do where.