Displaying items by tag: Pakistan
The family of 18-year-old Akash, a Christian working at a bakery, claim their son was murdered by Muslim co-workers. ‘My son was an expert at baking and his expertise was liked by the customers, but he faced religious discrimination and jealousy at work’, says Sarwar, Akash’s father. On 24 September, the bakery informed Sarwar that his son was not well and had been taken to hospital. When he arrived there, his son was already dead. He attempted to investigate, but the bakery said, ‘We will teach you a lesson if you go for legal course against us.’ The police claim that Akash committed suicide. A video of his body was released on Facebook, showing signs of torture on his back and neck. The video has gone viral. Sarwar’s application to exhume Akash’s body for investigation has been denied by the court - delaying tactics to nullify evidence.
Bishop Samson Shukardin of Hyderabad told Aid to the Church in Need that abuse was an issue for minority students at public schools. He said that Christian parents in the country are resorting to giving their children Islamic names to prevent them suffering ‘abuse’ at school. With Islamic names, they will not be singled out as Christians and become potential targets for discrimination in primary or secondary schools or colleges. The bishop said that even school textbooks portrayed minorities in a negative light, and they are considered as infidels. The fundamentalists believe that Islam is the only complete religion - that salvation is only found in the Qur'an as the last holy book. Therefore most minorities, particularly Christians, are persecuted, and some religious minorities are at risk of being kidnapped.
Christians around the world ought to pray for Kashmir as tensions in the region have spiked since Aug. 5, when India removed its long-established "special status," bringing the India-administered areas of Kashmir into direct control of the central government.
The decision exacerbated India's already strained relationship with Pakistan and prompted Pakistan's prime minister to threaten to globalize the issue and alarmingly escalate the situation by stating that "Pakistan would keep all options on the table."
I'm calling on Indian, Pakistani and all Christians to a simple task that transcends the complexity of the issue and the emnity that has long existed between our countries because of it.
Christians ought to pray to Jesus—the "Prince of Peace" - that peace would reign in our countries and in our region as God has called each of us to "seek peace and prosperity" for our countries, according to Jeremiah 29:7. The prophet continues, "Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper."
And I'm calling them to do so intensely. Since the British partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947, India and Pakistan have fought three wars over the Kashmir region. Hundreds of thousands of civilians and military officers have died on both sides of the border in armed conflicts and episodes of inter-communal violence. The last thing the region needs is another war, especially when both nations have nuclear weapons.
All of this has been especially complicated in recent years by cross-border terrorism as Pakistan's prime minister himself recently recognized that 30,000-40,000 terrorists operate on Pakistani soil.
Putting it all together, in just over 25 years over 45,000 people in Jammu & Kashmir have died in cross-border militant encounters between the countries and from terrorist attacks originating in Pakistan. When India cites national security concerns for its decisions in Kashmir, it's not without cause.
Yet, the status-quo situation in Kashmir has long been unsustainable, and by some act of divine providence maybe this disruption could result in a solution as the Indian government and the people of India embrace Kashmiris as fellow citizens of India.
That, however, might require a divine miracle, a miracle entirely unlikely if God's people do not pray.
And as they pray for a peaceful and permanent resolution to this intractable conflict, they should keep in mind that the security situation remains tense as curfews are still imposed, as new questions have arisen about the citizenship rights of some people living in Kashmir, and as India's national leadership and judiciary deal and work through the implications of the decision made by the government.
They should also pray for Christians, Hindus, Muslims and others whose religious freedom has sometimes been caught up in these political conflicts.
Ultimately, Christians should pray that no one will give license to hate in any form, always recognizing the inherent dignity in every human being and their God-given freedom of conscience.
As a Christian leader, I'm grateful for the generosity and kindness shown by our Christian friends around the world to commit our strong, yet also delicate, region to the hand of almighty God.
May we, as the apostle Paul prayed, have the privilege to "lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way" (1 Tim. 2:2b, ESV).
Jammu and Kashmir (JK) is in militarised Kashmir, an Indian region dividing India and Pakistan. On 5 August Indian authorities revoked JK’s special status that had allowed them to make their own laws, and anticipating resistance they imposed an unprecedented clampdown - shutting down the internet, media and mobile phones, barring movement and jailing Kashmiri leaders. They argued that JK’s ‘special status’ hindered integration by their Muslim majority population with the rest of Hindu India. The disputed region has had two wars fought over it by India, Pakistan and China. Narendra Modi reached out to people of JK, in the five languages spoken there, trying to instil peace on the troubled streets of a new Kashmir; which has been stripped of its constitution, flag, and hereditary rights. A historical powder keg has been ignited. The US asked Pakistan to refrain from ‘retaliatory aggression’ as airspace corridors were closed and bilateral trade suspended. China’s foreign ministry voiced ‘serious concern’ over India’s contentious move over an area claimed by both countries. See
Pray for something so big and dramatic to happen in Pakistan that can only be explained by it being the work of God.
Missionaries are still being thrown out of the country, even some that have visas are losing them. Pray this situation will be resolved. Muslim leaders from Pakistan have no trouble getting permission to come to the USA.
Tribal Praise Report
Two visiting Korean doctors were on a medical outreach to a tribal area. As the doctors were overwhelmed, the people began coming to the church workers saying, "We know your God heals. Will you pray for us?" It became a tremendous time of ministry as they were able to tell them that it is the power of Jesus working when they are healed. Many openly said, " We are so worried about our physical health and our spiritual needs. Now we know that Jesus can take care of both, we can come to Him."
Meeting between Pakistan and the USA
Imran Khan, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, is to visit the USA July 16 - 18. He will meet with President Trump on the 17th. Pray for good meetings with President Trump who has made some pretty strong statements against Pakistan since he came into office. Some were justified particularly with the former Government, and covert, tactical support of some terrorist groups, but this all has taken a terrible toll on the people of Pakistan.
On 9/11 almost 3000 persons were killed. About 6000 US troops have been killed in Afghanistan.
Pakistan has lost 35,000 military between 2001 and 2011, and 40,000 are missing in action. Civilian casualties started at 30,000 and is climbing rapidly to three or four times that. The war on terrorism in Pakistan still continues. The fallout on the economy in Pakistan has been drastic. For example, a huge number of Pakistani refugees are being moved from one place to another and there is the care of over 400,000 Afghan refugees living in Pakistan that the government has had to care for, with the assistance of International Aid groups.
There are some who have gained from this war, but Pakistan has paid a terrible price.
God is the author of peace. This will come as we intercessors PRAY.
Pray: Russian and China and now the US are beginning to understand that peace in Afghanistan cannot come without the help of Pakistan.
Pray: May the right decisions be made. It is not wrong, from the Taliban perspective, for the Taliban to lie to gain an upper hand. May Pres. Trump have good advisors.
Pray: PM Imran Khan is working hard to bring peace within his own country.
Pray: Pres. Trump also wants to see a lasting peace in this part of the world.
Pray: Pray for Christians who are suffering the most from this.
A government campaign to vaccinate 40 million children under the age of five against polio had to be suspended following serious attacks on workers and police in just one week. A policeman protecting polio workers was killed in Bannu, and a polio worker was injured with a knife in Lahore by a man refusing to allow his child to be vaccinated. Two others connected with different polio teams were also killed, and one man was seriously wounded. Further attacks on staff in Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab were reported. The violence was preceded by a series of rumours intended to derail Pakistan’s campaign to eradicate the disease. On 22 April several thousand children were taken to hospital in north-west Pakistan by panicked parents after a video circulated on Facebook in which a man attested that children were falling sick following vaccinations. A mob set alight a health centre following the same rumour.
Over the years Prayer-Alert has highlighted the plight of Brick-Kiln Workers; but it still goes on. Amanat worked seven days a week in a brick-kiln making 1,000 bricks daily, earning the equivalent of £4.20 that he never saw because it went back to the brick-kiln owner, paying interest on a loan he took out at a time of family crisis. His situation was hopeless. He had to borrow further money to buy food for his children. There are thousands of Pakistani Christian brick-kiln workers like him with debts keeping them bonded to their boss, unable to leave and get another job. Their wage just pays off interest on an impossible debt. They are despised, despairing and trapped bonded slaves. But Amanat got lucky. Barnabas Fund paid off his debt and with nothing being deducted from his wages any more, he can pay for his children’s schooling, or learn a new trade.
Muqadas was 16 when her parents married her off to a Chinese man looking for a bride. A few months later, Muqadas is back home, pregnant, and seeking a divorce from an abusive husband. Hundreds of poor Christian Pakistani girls have been trafficked to China in a bride market that has swiftly grown since last year. Brokers aggressively seek girls for Chinese men, sometimes cruising outside churches to look for potential brides. They are being helped by Christian clerics paid to target impoverished parents in their congregation with promises of wealth in exchange for their daughters. Parents receive several thousand dollars and are told that their new sons-in-law are wealthy Christian converts - but this is not true. The Chinese government and its embassy in Pakistan are accused of turning a blind eye to the practice by issuing visas and documents without question.
Aasia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian freed from death row last year, has arrived in Canada with her husband to join her daughters. She had suffered repeated death threats from religious extremists when her conviction for blasphemy was quashed. In 2018 the Islamist movement Tehreek-e-Labbaik went on the rampage in Islamabad and Lahore when she was acquitted. Protesters attacked public property and burnt cars. Although Aasia has been released, please continue to pray for the countless, nameless, Christians (and others from minority faiths) still languishing in Pakistan’s prisons after unproven accusations of blasphemy.
Following New Zealand’s terror attack, there have been six recorded incidents in just seven days. In Israel two rockets launched from Gaza terrorised residents around Tel Aviv; explosions and sirens were heard throughout the region. Palestinian terror group Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility. Two Israelis were killed in another terror attack, and two days later a shooting attack on an Israeli bus traumatised passengers. In the Netherlands a gunman opened fire inside a tram, killing three and injuring others. In Kashmir 44 soldiers were killed and dozens injured by Pakistan terrorists. In Stanwell, UK, a far-right terrorist was arrested for attempted murder and racially aggravated public order. American experts say white nationalist threats are growing. Prayer leader Brian Mills says, ‘Satan undermines truth, is full of self-importance, is vehemently anti-Jewish and anti-Christian, seeks to interrupt our communication with God, and is a terrorist! We see a spirit of violence, intrinsic within Islam, being turned outwards.’