Friday, March 13, 2009

Situation for Christians in Pakistan Worsening

A Christian leader from Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province told Barnabas Fund last week how the Taliban are trying to enforce their interpretation of Islam on the whole nation. “That is why the religious minorities fear for their safety and their future,” he said. He described how Christians, desperate to blend in for safety’s sake, are beginning to dress like Muslims and the Christian men to grow beards so that they look like Muslims.

Parts of the North West Frontier Province, which borders Afghanistan, are now almo st ungovernable, as a wide range of militant Islamic groups are currently engaged in violent insurrections. Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund, pleads: “Please pray at this time for the Christian minority in Pakistan, especially those in the North West Frontier Province, where the Taliban are gaining increasing power and enforcing an extreme version of sharia (Islamic law). Sharia is inherently biased against non-Muslims and also prescribes the death sentence for Muslims who choose to follow Christ. The position of the Christian community is increasingly vulnerable. They need your prayers.”

The Christian community in Pakistan is drawn mainly from the poorest parts of society, and many Christians do very menial work. They are despised by the majority society and often discriminated against. Sometimes they are subject to violent attack, especially Christian women and girls. A slow process of Islamisation over recent decades has gradually eroded their rights and liberties, and in the current situation this process looks set to continue at a far more rapid pace.

[Source Barnabas Fund]

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