Christians injured in the attack. Photo by Compass Direct.
Pakistan (MNN) ― Current Pakistani protests over the British knighthood of author Salman Rushdie have raised fears over the future of Christians in the country. Pakistani Religious Affairs Minister Ejaz-ul-Haq told Parliament that the British honor contributes to "insulting Islam" and may lead to terrorism.
Meanwhile, a mob attack on evangelicals last week appears to be symptomatic of religious hatred which seemingly has heightened. On June 17, approximately forty Muslim men armed with guns, axes and wooden sticks attacked several believers while they were preparing for an evangelistic meeting at a Salvation Army church in the village of Bismillahlpur Kanthan.
Glenn Penner of Voice of the Martyrs-Canada describes it as a matter of constant harassment. "Pakistani Christians face this on a daily basis--not being able to get decent work or facing discrimination in the workplace, if they can find jobs at all. Persecution isn't just incidents; it's an environment as well, and Pakistani Christians feel very much under pressure."
Christians injured in the attack were forced to leave the hospital after only a few hours of treatment, and doctors under-reported their wounds due to pressure from the militants. Police initially refused to file a complaint against the attackers and did so only after lobbying efforts from local Christians.Several Christians have fled the area in fear of further attacks.
Penner urges prayer that Christians in Pakistan will not give in to fear. "It's a symptom of Christians who were attacked because they were involved in evangelistic work. They had been threatened. They had been told to cancel this evangelistic meeting. When they refused to do so, they were attacked. This is, unfortunately, not uncommon in Pakistan."
Pray that the victims of this attack will display the love of Christ to their Muslim neighbors and trust God for justice.