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Worship service in PakistanHaving to declare their faith makes Christians even more vulnerable to persecution.
Photo: World Watch Monitor

Christians and other religious minorities have reason for concern after a March 9th ruling from the Islamabad High Court mandated that a person's religion must be declared on all government-issued identification. Any citizen who disguises their true religion will be guilty of betraying the state. Documentation includes birth certificates, passports, voters' lists, and national ID cards. Anyone applying for a government job will also have to declare their religion.

Human Rights Watch has condemned the ruling for attacking religious freedom in the country, acknowledging that it "would enable and incite violence." In a nation where religion is frequently used for social and economic exclusion, a ruling such as this could create even more difficulties for the country's minority faith groups. If there is no appeal of this decision, the dictates will have to be followed.

Pray that the lawyers studying this ruling and considering an appeal will be granted wisdom. Ask God to also help the lawmakers involved to realize the serious consequences of such a decision, which poses further life-threatening risks and difficulties for many of Pakistan's innocent citizens. Considering this, please uphold the country's Christians who are facing hardships and discrimination on a regular basis, that they will remain faithful to the cause of Christ -- serving as bright lights in the darkness.

Current Ministry Projects

Throughout Pakistan, VOMC’s ministry partners are providing Christian women with practical skills training in sewing so they can obtain a sustainable source of income for their families, as well as needed spiritual encouragement to strengthen 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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