Iran and Pakistan exchange missile fire

By January 19, 2024

Pakistan (MNN) — Tensions are ratcheting up once again in the Middle East as Iran trades missile fire with neighboring Pakistan.

On Tuesday, Iran said its airstrikes destroyed terrorist strongholds in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province. FMI’s Nehemiah says, “This (Baluchistan) is almost a ‘no go’ area for Pakistanis and [is a] haven for terrorism and militancy.”

Pakistan called the strikes “unprovoked” and said the attack killed two children. The “Pakistani foreign office decided to recall its ambassador from Iran and suspended all high official visits ongoing or planned between the two countries following the incident,” Nehemiah says.

Then, Pakistan fired retaliatory rockets and drones at ethnic Balochi militants in Iran on Thursday, killing at least nine people. Four of them were kids.

Whatever Iranian or Pakistani government leaders may claim, Nehemiah says opposing religious foundations undergird the conflict playing out before our eyes.

“Iran is a Shia country, and Pakistan is a majority Sunni country. Sunnis [inside Pakistan] are feeling that Shiites attacked them, and so several Shia leaders have been killed by Sunni militant groups,” Nehemiah says.

“This is a very, very defining moment because there is a ‘tug of war’ between Shias and Sunnis.”

Iran’s attack on Pakistan follows strikes on Iraq and Syria days earlier. Seemingly increased Iranian aggression raises concerns about regional war.

Please pray for FMI-supported church leaders and partners throughout the region. Learn more about FMI’s work here.

“We have partners who serve in Pakistan, Baluchistan, and Iran, so the ministry [is] highly affected,” Nehemiah says.



Header image depicts an elder of a Pakistani village church. It is estimated that only about 2% of the nation’s population claim to be Christian. (Photo, caption courtesy FMI)

Help us get the word out: