How many Christians are there in Pakistan?
Only 1.9 per cent of people in Pakistan are Christians – just over 4 million from a population of 208.3 million.
What does persecution look like in Pakistan?
Christians in Pakistan face extreme persecution in every area of their lives. Believers who have converted from Islam face the greatest levels of persecution, but all Christians are considered second-class citizens in this strongly Islamic country. They are given jobs perceived as low, dirty and dishonorable, and can be victims of bonded labor. There are some Christians among the middle classes, but they are still considered inferior to their Muslim counterparts and often face severe workplace discrimination.
Christian girls are at risk of abduction and rape, and are often forced to marry their attackers and coerced into converting to Islam.
Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws are used to target Christians, and Islamic extremist groups vehemently “defend” these laws, including attacking or killing those believed to have contravened them.
Christian churches do exist, but those that are active in outreach face severe persecution from society.
Who is most vulnerable to persecution?
All Christians are at risk of persecution in Pakistan, particularly those from a Muslim background.
What has changed compared to last year?
Pakistan remains one of the hardest places to live as a Christian, and violent persecution against Christians and church buildings continues to be particularly bad.
What does Open Doors do to help Christians in Pakistan?
Open Doors raises prayer support for persecuted believers in Pakistan.
How can you pray for Pakistan?
- Pray for courage for Christians in Pakistan to speak about their faith, despite their fears that their words may be used against them. Pray that God will give them the right words to say.
- Pray for protection over Pakistan’s churches, especially around holidays such as Christmas and Easter, when terrorist attacks have happened in the past.
- Pray for protection for young Christian women and girls. Pray for those who have already been abducted and forced to convert and marry, that God will comfort them and give them strength. Pray that they will know His love, even in their terrible circumstances.
Father God, it looks almost impossible to follow You in Pakistan, but we know that with You all things are possible. Please draw close to men, women and children who are suffering extreme persecution for their faith, showing them Your love, steadfastness and power. Amen.