How many Christians are there in Pakistan?
There are around four million Christians in Pakistan, making up a very small percentage of the overall population – just two per cent.
Why are Christians persecuted in Pakistan?
Pakistan is a strongly Islamic society. Christians in Pakistan are generally regarded as second-class citizens, and are only able to occupy jobs that are regarded as low, dirty and derogatory – the deaths of two Christian sewage workers (who were not given any protective clothing) in 2018 highlights the injustice believers face on a daily basis. The country’s anti-blasphemy laws are disproportionately applied against the Christian minority, with Asia Bibi’s case being the most famous, attracting international attention.
“I request the whole world pay attention to this issue.” Asia Bibi
What’s life like for Christians in Pakistan?
In May 2019, Pakistani Christian and mother Asia Bibi was finally free to leave Pakistan after she had spent eight years on death row on false charges of blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad. Her case attracted worldwide attention and led to much criticism of Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws – laws which are still in place today, and which are continually used to target Christians and other religious minorities.
Before she was imprisoned, Asia was violently beaten by an angry mob. Sadly, this sort of violence against Christians is common. An estimated 700 Christian women and girls are abducted every year and often forced to marry Muslim men. If their families complain, they are accused of harassing the ‘voluntarily converted’ girl.
Churches are heavily monitored and have been regularly targeted for bomb attacks. The more active a church is in outreach and youth work, the stronger the persecution and opposition it faces.
How can I help Christians in Pakistan?
Please keep praying for your brothers and sisters in Pakistan. Your gifts and prayers make an enormous difference to those following Jesus no matter the cost.
Open Doors partners support the church in Pakistan through training, literacy and vocational projects, emergency aid and trauma counselling.
Father God, may our brothers and sisters in Pakistan know that they are loved and valued by You today - that You see them as treasured and precious. Please restore and heal the many girls and women who have been abducted, and comfort believers who are currently imprisoned. Help the church in Pakistan to shine as a light in the darkness.