Pakistani youth fed up with nation’s bad image

By May 13, 2011

Pakistan (MNN) — Pakistan has been all over Western headlines for years, especially in conjunction with terrorism.

In the last few months, the country's inhumane blasphemy law has held the spotlight as major political figures have died defending it. In the last few weeks, its been chided for claiming to have no notion that internationally-wanted killer Osama bin Laden had been hiding there for years.

The most innocent press Pakistan has gotten in the last year is probably to do with the extreme flooding that displaced tens of thousands.

Seldom, if ever, is the volatile nation reported in association with anything positive. And Pakistani youth are fed up–if not embarrassed.

"It's very painful to talk about Pakistan's image across the globe," one Pakistani university student told International Mission Board. "Pakistan is known as a 'terrorist' country. Wherever there are any terrorist attacks, Pakistan is held responsible–either directly or indirectly."

Despite the fact that most Pakistani college students want nothing to do with this deplorable image, they will suffer its consequences. Other university students may have the opportunity to travel, even to get a career in a foreign country if they want. As an IMB report points out, though, for Pakistanis, "Their passports will keep them from having access in many parts of the world."

The subject haunts them. One professor in Pakistan told IMB that his students regularly talk about the effects of world events on young people living in the nation. They seem to be getting frustrated. "These students represent a whole generation of Pakistani youth that are ready for a turning point in their country," noted the professor.

Intent on changing their country's reputation, Pakistani students have grown increasingly open to new ideas. They are so desperate for change that students in the predominantly-Muslim country are even open to discussing issues of faith. Blasphemy laws keep them from discussing Christianity in class as more than a philosophy, but doors seem to be swinging open.

Each time there's a significant attack or uprising in the Muslim world, more questions arise, and more people are open to talking about issues of faith. One missionary says nearly 70 people have come to faith in recent months. Incidentally, recent months have included trial after trial for the Pakistani people.

The kingdom is growing in Pakistan, despite ongoing persecution. Pray that many more would trust in Christ, and that university students would ask questions and pave the way for revival.

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