Pakistan braces for end of Ramadan; Christian workers go to prayer.

By October 25, 2006

Pakistan (MNN)–The 3-day Eid al-Fitr festival marking the end of Ramadan, Islam’s holy month, begins today.

Pakistan tightened security in light of militant attacks over the country’s Western alliance. Reports indicate a deployment of extra police and paramilitary rangers across the country. That’s because the country has seen many terror attacks blamed on domestic Islamic militant groups and Al-Qaeda.

Interserve’s Doug VanBronkhorst says the heightened religious fervor can cause trouble for Christian groups because of the Western association. “‘There is a public Christian presence. There are some hospitals. There are churches. In certain areas, it’s fairly visible, in terms of buildings and people. So, if somebody wants to find targets, they can be fairly easily found in Pakistan.”

However, their partners have not indicated any specific threat or danger…although, “That’s a concern, but at this point, I’m not aware of any threat to any particular place and I would hope that nothing like that would happen.”

VanBronkhorst argues Ramadan is an excellent time for Christians to pray for the Muslim world, as well as for believers who live and work there. “Pray that the holiday would end peacefully. Included in that ‘normal life’ can be the normal work of doing good, in terms of doing jobs that our people have and the opportunities to share their faith with friends and neighbors.”

Interserve teams are centered in a Christian Hospital in Peshawar with other relief work in Balakot. Their hospital partner is still looking for general surgeons, orthopedic surgeons, pediatricians, gynecologists, general practitioners, and paramedical workers.

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