As Pakistan holds a controversial and potentially volatile general election, believers in the country are praying that it will usher in improved religious freedom.
Christians in Jaranwala gather to pray following the awful attacks on them last year
Amid controversy and rising tensions, Pakistan is holding a general election that Christians and other religious minorities are hoping will bring greater equality and safety.
The country will head for the polls on Thursday (8 February) against the backdrop of increasing inflation, a struggling economy and fears over security.
Pakistan has been in political turmoil since April 2022, when Prime Minister Imran Khan was ousted following a vote of no confidence, and it's since been governed by an interim cabinet.
The nation is number seven on the latest World Watch List, making it a place of extreme persecution for many Christians. This can include violence – like the devastating attack on the Christian community in Jaranwala last August– as well as abductions, false accusations through the notorious blasphemy laws, and institutionalised discrimination.
"We are tired of being considered untouchable" Christian in Pakistan
Open Doors partners with the HOPE (Helping Others Pray and Encourage) community in Pakistan, and they have shared with us four things that they are praying for as the election takes place. These are below, together with a prayer from one of their community.
“Please bring to our nation leaders who serve, who think about people and value them, leaders who see the sufferings and injustice to Your people and see them as equal to the others, not lesser. We are tired of being considered, as our ancestors, untouchable. Give them hearts to feel, give them eyes to see and ears to listen. Give them wisdom and grow integrity in our land. Amen.”
More than 100 MPs were represented at the parliamentary launch of the World Watch List. Thank you to all of you who invited your MP – it really does make a difference! We now want to make sure that every MP, especially those who could not attend, has a copy of the report. This will be even more crucial ahead of an election this year. Could you send your MP a copy?
Find out more about what it’s like to be a Christian in Pakistan, as well as places like North Korea, China, Nigeria and Nicaragua, with our Top 50 booklet. Also includes inspirational stories, prayer requests and updates from the latest report. The resource is free and you can order as many copies as you’d like!
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