Pakistan (MNN) — The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing Christians in Pakistan to be even more creative. More coronavirus coverage here.
Pakistani believers already struggle to make ends meet in one of the world’s largest Muslim-majority countries. Learn more about persecution in Pakistan here. “The Pakistani Church, generally, is very, very poor. There are not very many business people who are Christians, and many of them work as day laborers or as land sharecroppers,” says Jonathan*, a Christian worker focused on Pakistan.
“For many Christian families, they eat tonight based on the money that they earned today.”
In times of crisis, these believers can usually depend on their brothers and sisters in Christ around the world for help. “Typically, when there’s a natural disaster like an earthquake or a flood, the whole world comes in and responds, and there is some assistance,” Jonathan explains.
However, “With the COVID crisis, every country is dealing with its own difficulties, so there’s been very little assistance from abroad.”
From aid recipient to provider
It’s been a growing experience for the Pakistani Church. “Churches have learned how to cooperate and to coordinate… rather than competing to see who can have the best Facebook page showing pictures of all their relief operations, they’re working really closely together,” Jonathan says.
“They have learned how to really dig deep. People are giving an entire month’s salary, or more than that, to help their fellow Christian families who are in need.”
One collaborative effort helps churches coordinate relief projects by province and city. It also supplies tools believers can use to assess the needs of each family and individual, “rather than a one-size-fits-all approach,” Jonathan says.
“In the past, there’s sometimes been a duplication of efforts, with some families receiving assistance from three or four sources and others being overlooked. This is a real effort from within the Church to be much more effective and efficient in doing [relief work].”
Partner with the Pakistani Church
Praise God for the unity among believers and churches in Pakistan! Then, ask the Lord how He wants you to respond. “We can get resources to them for their own subsistence in this crisis, but also to help resource [their] efforts to share Christ’s love with their Muslim neighbors,” Jonathan says.
“God has placed [the Pakistani] Church strategically all over the country so that people would come to know God’s love and what Jesus has done for them… mobilizing the Church for this great task is something [that] we need to come alongside.”
*– Name changed for security purposes.
Header image is a representative stock photo depicting a man riding a motorcycle in Lahore, Pakistan. (Photo by Muhammad Muzamil on Unsplash)