An evangelist proclaims the Gospel in Pakistan amidst heavy security.

By September 29, 2004

Pakistan (MNN)–There are over three million Christians in Pakistan. They’re living in the heart of the Muslim world where persecution and extremist retaliation is expected.

The U.S. State Department published its sixth annual Report on Religious Freedom and it says there are problems in Pakistan for Christians.The country’s constitution requires that laws be consistent with Islam, and the report alleges that the “Government fails in many respects to protect the rights of religious minorities.”

In fact, more than 100 deaths were attributed to religious violence during the last year. There are reports that Hindus and Christians alike have been abducted and forcibly converted.

Against this backdrop, Evangelist Sammy Tippit just finished preaching a series of Gospel messages in Karachi. That too, bore the marks of persecution felt by the church.

Before the leaders’ meetings were allowed to begin, police came and searched under every chair and throughout the hall were the meetings were held. They were looking for any kind of weapons that could be used against the people, to prevent the possibility of an extremist from disrupting the meetings.

Each person among the thousands who attended the evangelistic meetings were also searched. The searches and tight security didn’t hinder the attendance. In fact, the crowds grew nightly.

Ministry spokesman Chris Dillashaw says hundreds responded. “The harvest field there in Pakistan is ripe. We have a television broadcast that’s on cable television there in Pakistan several days a week. It seems that we, as Westerners, won’t know the bondage that Islam can put on people, but also the hunger for real truth that people can have.”

Dillashaw says they’re now planning discipleship ministry and a return next year. “We’re looking at continuing our TV broadcasts. Right now, its just purely evangelistic. We’re looking at dividing that up, going in two different directions–continue along with the evangelistic, but also putting in some discipleship materials on TV there so there can be an avenue of growth for Christians.”

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