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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.