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Sardar Mushtaq Gill (right)
Photo: LEAD FAMILY


Human rights defender and campaigner Sardar Mushtaq Gill has received death threats in recent months. Sardar is the National Director of the Legal Evangelical Association Development (LEAD), a non-governmental organization in Punjab that represents marginalized people who are either falsely implicated by the police or unable to afford legal assistance.

According to a news release, the threats apparently stem from an incident that took place in March of 2013. During that time, about 200 homes, 18 shops and two churches in the Christian community of Joseph Colony were attacked, looted, burnt and destroyed by a mob consisting of over 3,000 people. To review this past report, please click here.

While the criminal case was registered at a police station in Bedami Bagh (Lahore), and arrests were made, a division bench of the Lahore High Court granted bail to some of the accused who were involved in the Joseph Colony incident. However, on June 4th, the association's lawyers asked that the bail be revoked. Since then, these lawyers have been threatened by unknown individuals who are demanding the withdrawal of their opposition to the bail. Due to the severity of these threats, the human rights lawyers were unable to appear in court.

As time progressed, the situation worsened. On November 2nd, close to the vicinity where Sardar and his family live, unknown perpetrators fired random shots for almost 30 minutes. He stated in a recent news release that he received a text from his wife asking him where he was at the time as there was a shooting occurring. She fearfully warned, "Be careful. We (are) terrified...and locked the door." As Pakistan is notorious for its controversial and very strong "anti-blasphemy" laws, Sardar has asked for prayer on behalf of his family and those of his human rights legal defense team.

Pray that God will grant Sardar and his dedicated team of lawyers needed strength, courage and wisdom to tackle such volatile opposition, while protecting them and their loved ones in the process. In fact, please pray for the protection of all Christians in Pakistan. May the Lord also provide ongoing help and restoration to those in Lahore whose homes, churches and businesses have been utterly destroyed earlier this year by the massive mob of extremists. “Say to those who are fearful-hearted, ‘Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God; He will come and save you'” (Isaiah 35:4).

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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