Pakistan (MNN) — Pakistan has tightened security after a Taliban-link blast took the lives of 25 people. In a separate incident also linked to pro-Taliban groups, five others were killed. Despite the attacks and increasing insecurity, Christian education continues.
World Hope International's Director of Hope for Children, Ann O'Dell, says Christians are constantly on alert. "Some of the churches that we work with have guards who are at the doors now. And their Sunday services are kept to a shorter period of time to keep the extremists from entering and causing problems."
Since Pakistan is predominately Islamic, Christians are discriminated against, especially in school. "Children from Christian families are often denied the right to attend a government-sponsored school. Often they're forced to sit at the back of the classroom, if they're even admitted to the school. They're not allowed to drink from the same water sources that the Muslim children are allowed to drink from," says O'Dell.
To remedy that, O'Dell says World Hope International has started Christian schools and sponsorships to support the students. They have a boys' hostel in place, and they're raising money to complete a girls hostel.
Since persecution is such a risk, O'Dell says, "Many families just don't try to send their children to school because they want to protect their children."
Your sponsorship of a student not only provides an education for the child, it protects them. O'Dell says, "Thirty dollars per month covers the cost of tuition, school uniforms, books, and supplies, plus it also helps to cover medical needs and provide some food."
While your financial help is needed, something more important is also needed. "Our people there remind us every time we speak with them that they depend on our prayers for their continued safety and for God to continue to help them be a light in a very dark corner of the world."