Increasing persecution of Pakistani Christians
A Pakistani believer who is a member of the Christians Together web site has written to outline the increasing persecution of Christians in his country and to ask for prayer for protection.
Khuram S. has e-mailed in the following terms. I have copied it without any alterations. Below his e-mail is a (typical) report of what is going on in the country from Voice of the Martyrs.
dear brother Colin!
first of all let me make you sure that are you bit aware about what is going on with christians here. we are turly in hell.every one is pretenting nothing serioue.but i lost my tow cusions.many of thier friend are honestly fighing for their lives.i and my fallow servents are not living in our home.i am writing you form other city.even few of us have been accoused and found involed disrespecting the Holy Quran and the Prophot Muhammad. police is chasing few of the fallow servent.now we are alos hidden in other city.i am pretty much sure that our families are also in seriouse tuble.i had call from my younger brother last night few of muslim did beat him badly.in very simple words it is realy difficult to live alive here in pakistan.we are escaped now shall write you latter.
do write me waiting
On the evening of August 1, a mob of angry Muslims attacked local Christians in the district of Gojra, Punjab province, killing at least eight people, including a seven-year-old child, as well as burning and looting dozens of homes and a church building.
The violence came in response to a rumour that Christians had desecrated pages from the Qur'an several days earlier at a wedding in a nearby village. This was the second such attack that Christians in the area suffered due to this rumour.
On July 30, Muslims burned down dozens of Christian homes, killing livestock and damaging church buildings in the village of Korian, a few kilometres from Gojra.
In both attacks, Muslim leaders encouraged the violence, using mosque loudspeakers to call on the faithful to defend Islam. According to witnesses, the attackers used a fuel that is particularly difficult to extinguish to set the fires.
Government officials have condemned the attacks with unusual severity and have criticized security forces for their slow response. They have stated that there is no truth to the allegations of blasphemy and promised to rebuild the homes destroyed and financially assist those who have lost family members in the violence. Recent reports estimate that over 200 had been arrested for their involvement in the violence. More information on these attacks can be found on VOMC's weblog.
Please pray that those who have lost loved ones in this senseless violence will know God's comfort. Pray for Pakistani authorities as they seek to restore law and order in the region.
Pray that those responsible will be brought to justice.
Pray that local Christians will respond to this violence in a Christ-like manner, with forgiveness and without retaliation.
Please consider adding a special prayer for the Christians in Gojra and Korian on our Persecuted Church Prayer Wall.