During the 40 days of Lent I’m committed to praying each day for Christians in the 40 countries where the cost of being a follower of Christ is highest. I invite you to do the same. The information on the prayer needs of each country comes from a combination of Open Doors, Barnabas Fund and Operation World.
Today we are Praying for Pakistan
5.3 million Christians live among 180 million Muslims. Religious freedom is constantly being eroded. Although persecution does not come primarily from the state, the constitution and judiciary fail to protect the rights of religious minorities. In 2010, 29 Christians were killed and 4 were sentenced for blasphemy. At least 58 Christians were kidnapped and at least 100 were physically harmed. During the devastating floods of August 2010, Christians experienced discrimination from local authorities and Muslims in the distribution of aid. In November 2010, a Christian woman was sentenced to death for blasphemy.
The Challenge for Prayer
Pakistan’s government alternates between inept civilian parties crippled by infighting and corruption, and autocratic military dictatorships. Economic and social development is then hindered, while too much power and wealth lies in the hands of a few elite. The country is under stress from fundamentalist forces in Pakistan’s west and neighbouring Afghanistan as well as in the Punjab. Tensions with India and long-standing troubles in Kashmir, a region driven by religious and political divisions, also threaten stability. Pray that Pakistan would be freed from spirits of lawlessness and violence that continue to bleed the nation. Pray for the raising of leaders of integrity and a government that will be effective in moving the nation forward and uplifting those who most need their protection and assistance. That Pakistan persists as a nation at all is a testament to the amazing resilience and flexibility of its people.
- For those those working to help flood victims to rebuild their lives
- That the government would review the blasphemy laws and do more to protect religious minorities
- Pray in particular for the protection of Christian girls who are somethimes targets for kidnapping