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Paul Bhatti
Photo: AsiaNews

Almost three years have passed since the murder of Shahbaz Bhatti, a Pakistani MP who lobbied against the country's controversial blasphemy laws. Now, his elder brother's life is under threat.

Paul Bhatti recently received a letter from the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, warning him that he would suffer the same fate as his brother if he did not stop pursuing justice. Other lawyers and eyewitnesses involved in Shahbaz's case have also received death threats. (For more information on the assassination of Paul's brother, Shahbaz, please visit our website.)

Paul Bhatti was living in Italy when his brother was murdered on March 2nd, 2011, but soon returned to his home country to take over the chairmanship of the All-Pakistan Minorities' Alliance, which his brother founded. He says his desire is to speak on behalf of the country's marginalized and oppressed, and to fight for improved education and opportunities for the poor and those facing discrimination. In Pakistan, this often means Christians, who comprise around two-and-a-half percent of the population. "In this situation of instability in Pakistan the minorities suffer more, especially the Christian minority, which belongs to the poorest sector of Pakistan," Paul explains.

During this time of uncertainty, ask the Lord to protect and preserve Paul, his family members, and all those who support him in his work to raise a voice for minorities in Pakistan. Also pray that God's reassuring presence will be evident to the lawyers and eyewitnesses who are facing threats, reminding them to seek Him for their daily strength. Ask that wisdom, direction and favour be granted to the leaders and authorities involved in this case. Pray, too, that the perpetrators of Shahbaz's murder will be brought to justice and, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, they will come to accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour.

For more information on Pakistan's persecuted church, visit our Pakistan Country Report.