World News

Hordes disrupt church service in Pakistan


A mob of 40 men stormed The Voice of Jesus Church in Khokhar, Pakistan; smashed windows and left three bullet holes in the outside wall

Three men on motorcycles started to pester the 19-year-old daughter of Pastor Younas Javed before the service on 16 April. The girl’s brother, Sharjeel, asked them to stop, but in response they started abusing him. More men joined in and turned against the church facility, damaging windows, firing at the outside walls and harassing attending Christians. Even though he injuries caused are minimal, the incident is another sad example of how Christians are being treated in Pakistan. The pastor confirms that harassment of this kind is common in the area.

Despite increased security around the church, authorities debate whether religious connections were associated with the attack. The police sub-inspector referred to the attack as “fight between kids.”

All Christians face discrimination and persecution because of their Christian heritage. Due to Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, they are at constant risk of being falsely accused of blaspheming Islam and receiving harsh punishments. Evangelicals take great risks to distribute God’s Word in Muslim neighbourhoods, baptize converts and educate young people. Several Christians are stuck in lower castes of society and are forced to work long hours at menial jobs so they can provide for their families. Many of them live in closed neighbourhoods known as colonies, which provide a low level of security. There are 4.2 million Christians in Pakistan, which is only 1.8% of the country’s population of more than 229 million people. 

Christian women and girls are particularly vulnerable. Open Doors UK published several reports about numerous kidnappings, forced marriages and forced conversion of Christian girls and women in Pakistan. These ‘marriages’ mean that a girl’s parents do not have legal recourse to rescue their often underage daughter. This is a widely-used tactic to persecute minority faith communities, such as Christians.


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