On April 5, 2014, it was reported that a Pakistani couple was sentenced to death on the charge of blasphemy against the Islamic prophet Muhammed. While the circumstances remain unclear, the couple had sent a text message to the imam of their local mosque. The imam had brought charges to the couple, saying that they had insulted prophet Muhammed.
Christians, among the minority religious groups in Pakistan, face persecution from Muslim extremists. While religious freedom is part of the Pakistani Constitution, Islamic law rules the country, and any form of blasphemy against the Islamic prophet Muhammed carries a death sentence.
As such, many Christians in Pakistan have been accused of blasphemy, eliciting violence from Muslim extremists. Christian churches are often attacked as well in community riots. Many argue that blasphemy laws are used to unsettle personal scores and target minority groups.
That is not to say that the rest of Pakistan has not experienced suffering as well. On April 9, 2014, a bomb exploded in a crowded market in Islamabad during peak hours, killing at least 20 people and injuring well over 100. The Pakistani government is currently investigating on the act of terror, determined to identify the criminals behind the act.
We encourage you to pray with us for Pakistan. First, for Pakistan’s leaders. We know from Scripture that God Himself appoints rulers and authorities in the world and that all people are to be “subject to the governing authorities” with respect (Romans 13:1-7). We are also exhorted in Scripture to pray for our world’s leaders (1 Timothy 2:2). Pakistan’s leaders face the difficult task of ensuring the country’s safety and security, often facing opposition and violence from the Pakistani Taliban (TTP). We encourage you to pray for wisdom for Pakistani authorities, that they may direct the country well.
Second, pray for the Pakistani people. 1 Timothy 2:1-7 exhorts us Christians to pray “for all people” because it pleases God, “who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” As such, pray earnestly for all people in Pakistan – those who are peaceful, and even extremists who persecute Christians. Pray for peace, and for Pakistan to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus.
Third, pray for the Christians in Pakistan, who face persecution. As the Body of Christ, lift prayers for our brothers and sisters in Pakistan, that God may strengthen them with faith and endurance for each day, that they may be salt and light, sharing the Gospel of Jesus to those around them.
Finally, please pray for FEBC’s operations in Pakistan. Our programming has many restrictions on content, and the Pakistani government has explicitly forbidden the name of Jesus to be mentioned. With the political and social difficulties experienced in Pakistan, FEBC faces many challenges in our effort to lead people to the knowledge of Jesus through radio programming. Still, we receive surprising letters and calls to our office in Pakistan from listeners who have tuned into our programs regularly, and have accepted Jesus as their Savior! We give God all the glory for His wondrous works, unhindered by man or any other powers.
Our broadcasting in Pakistan is crucial for our company’s vision of broadcasting the Gospel to all nations, especially Muslim countries. Please share this with your friends and family, and help us raise support for the sake of the Gospel and those who have not yet heard.