While many in the West claim to welcome the growth of Islamic culture and influence, Pakistan stands as a stark reminder of the consequences of Muslim hegemony on people of other faiths — particularly Christians.

Pakistan was carved out of India in 1947 as an independent home for Indian Muslims. It’s constitution, adopted in 1956, established the country as an Islamic Republic. According to the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World, Pakistan is unique among Muslim countries in its relationship with Islam: it is the only country to have been established in the name of Islam.

So it should be of no surprise that, out of its total population of nearly 208 million people (according to the 2017 census), only 3.72% are identified as non-Muslims. In other words, Muslims comprise over 96% of Pakistan’s population.

Security forces outside a church in Youhanabad, Pakistan following a suicide bombing attack in December, 2017 (PC: CNN)

The consequence of this Muslim numerical, political, economic, and cultural dominance is that Christians are among those most oppressed in Pakistan today. The recent World Watch List ranked Pakistan as fourth for global Christian persecution.

What does oppression or persecution mean for Christians there? How can we better grasp the daily hardships facing a Christian living in Pakistan?

According to Gatestone Institute, an international policy council and think tank dedicated to the study of human rights issues, living in Pakistan has become a living hell for Christians. They write:

“If you are a non-Muslim there, that means you have to face and accept discrimination, lack of religious freedom, and physical and psychological torture as part of your daily life. It is routine to hear that some girl from a Christian, Hindu or other minority community is raped and killed, or has been forcibly converted. A person is murdered by a mob for alleged blasphemy; some non-Muslim men, women or children are sentenced to death for a supposed blasphemy they never committed.”

We must pray for God to pour out His Spirit on the Church in Pakistan, enabling them to retain steadfast hope and display amazing grace in time of trial.

“Oh Lord, You hear the desire of the afflicted, You will strengthen their heart, You will incline Your ear.” — Psalm 10:17

Pray —

Christian mother Asia Bibi has been on death row since 2010, accused of blaspheming Islam. If executed, she would become the first woman in Pakistani history to be “lawfully” killed for blasphemy. (PC: World Watch Monitor)

3/9 — Ask God to sustain all imprisoned Christians in Pakistan through the loneliness and suffering they endure.

3/10 — Although media coverage of Christian mother Asia Bibi has faded, the urgency of her situation remains. Pray that she will be acquitted of all blasphemy charges, and will be reunited with her husband and five children soon.

3/11 — Pray for Pakistan’s Muslim population to grow in realization of Islam’s failings, yearn for peace, and have open hearts to the Gospel of Christ.

3/12 — Ask God to shelter His afflicted Church in Pakistan; may He be their provider and the Rock of their Refuge in these tumultuous, trying times.

3/13 — Pray for Pakistani Christians to reflect on the goodness of God and His sovereignty in the midst of our suffering world, knowing that His steadfast love never ceases.

3/14 — Pray that the Western church will stand as one in courageous solidarity with Pakistan’s suffering believers, imitating Christ and demonstrating His sacrificial love.

3/15 — For a great harvest of Muslims in Pakistan. Pray for converts from Islam to grow deep roots in the Word of God.

3/16 — Pray for Pakistani Christians to love each other earnestly, from the heart, through the power of the Spirit.

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