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Joseph Francis and Naveed Walter
Photo from ASSIST News Service

A leading human rights campaigner in Pakistan has urged the government to provide "full-fledged security" for Joseph Francis, Director of CLAAS (Centre for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement), after Francis received death threats for his work on repealing of the country's controversial blasphemy laws.

Naveed Walter, President of Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP), told ASSIST News that he is concerned for the safety of Francis and other Christian leaders who are receiving disturbing threats. Walter said, "CLAAS, under the leadership of Mr. Joseph Francis, provides the legal aid assistance to people who are persecuted because of their religion. It is an organization that is working to unite Christian lawyers on a platform to assist in cases that relate to the blasphemy laws in specific. Before 1992, Christian lawyers were afraid to take these kinds of cases." He went on to say, "After the assassination of Mr. Shahbaz Bhatti, the Federal Minister for Minorities Affairs, Mr. Francis could be a next target of the Taliban and extremists. The Government must ensure his security."

Please pray for the protection of Joseph Francis, Naveed Walter and all those willing to stand up for the rights of the Christian minority in Pakistan. Thank the Lord for the way He has equipped them to do this good work. Pray He will give them favour and, through them and others like them, bring about great change in this nation for religious freedom.

Read more about the persecution of Pakistani Christians at the Pakistan Country Report.

Current Ministry Projects

VOMC partners to train Christian women in sewing skills throughout Pakistan to provide a sustainable source of income for their families and encourage them in their faith and witness for Christ.

Project Funds: Families of Martyrs, Women’s Ministry

Country Information

Population
238,181,034 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Punjabi (44.7), Pashtun [Pathan] (15.4), Sindhi (14.1), Saraiki (8.4) Muhajirs (7.6) Balochi (3.6), Other (6.3)

Religion (%)
Islam (96.5), Other - Christian and Hindu (3.5)

Leader
President Arif Alvi (2018)

Government type
Federal parliamentary republic

Legal system
Common law system with Islamic law influence

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Pakistan

Pray that amendments will be made to Pakistan's existing blasphemy laws so that the country's citizens – including its children – will be protected from injustice and abuse. May our Lord's mercy and justice prevail, not only in the judiciary system but also in the hearts of the country's militants. Ask Him to transform their "hearts of stone" into hearts that are receptive to His love, mercy and the workings of His Holy Spirit – not only for the purpose of protecting the Christian minority but also for the salvation of their own eternal souls.

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