World Watch Update: Pakistan
Region: South Asia
2019 World Watch List Position: #5 in the top 50 countries
Leader: President Arif Alvi
Population: 200 814 000 (only 2% are Christians)
Main Religion: Islam
Government: Federal Parliamentary Republic
Sources of Persecution: Islamic Oppression plus Organised Corruption and Crime
Imagine it’s Easter or Christmas. You want to go to church, but Islamic extremists have warned that Christians who celebrate will suffer. What do you do?
Sadly, many Christians in Pakistan are facing this situation. Radical Muslims monitor Christian gatherings, and many churches have been bombed or burnt down. So times like Easter and Christmas are especially dangerous.
In Pakistan, the infamous blasphemy laws are frequently abused to target Christians – and accusations lead to believers being imprisoned or killed. Christians are afraid to express their faith freely in case something they say is misinterpreted as blasphemy. They face discrimination in the workplace and education, and jobs that are considered unclean are officially reserved for Christians. An estimated 700 Christian women and girls are abducted each year, and often they’re forced to marry Muslim men. If their families should complain, they’re accused of harassing the “voluntarily converted” girl.
- That Pakistan’s blasphemy laws will be changed so that Christians will be safe from false accusations
- For Open Doors’ partners who are reaching out to find isolated believers
- That Pakistan’s Christians will be protected, particularly women and girls