U.S. aid package to Pakistan stirs concern for ministry

By December 1, 2009

Pakistan (MNN) — The new U.S. aid package proposed for Pakistan is raising red flags for many U.S. aid groups. The package is billed as part of the U.S. counter insurgency efforts, and that has some groups worried.

They're concerned that the funds could end up in the wrong places, where there's not much accountability. Couple that with the worry that local, perhaps less-organized groups will displace Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and the careful disbursement of the $1.5 billion in aid funds becomes more crucial.

Todd Nettleton with
Voice of the Martyrs says while they're not an aid group, they are watching the situation closely. Their humanitarian involvement covers the delivery of Action Packs.

Donors order Action Packs from Voice of the Martyrs who then send a special pre-printed vacuum bag to the donors along with a list of needed items. The donor then fills the Action Pack and sends it back to Voice of the Martyrs; they distribute it along with the Gospel storybook, He Lived Among Us.

Nettleton explains, "We've delivered thousands of Action Packs–a humanitarian aid item–to Pakistani Christians as well as to Muslim villages," which opens the doors for ministry.

According to Voice of the Martyrs
Canada, Christians in Pakistan face severe opposition from militant Islamic
groups. Citing Law 295c, many believers have been falsely accused of blaspheming Mohammed or the Quran, a crime punishable by

North West Frontier Province
passed a bill that sets up a watchdog with the power to reform the society in
accordance to "Islamic values," which includes ensuring that such
values are observed in public places. Christians
are praying that this law will not be implemented country-wide, and that they
can move toward more religious freedoms.

Given the potential for sharing
the hope of Christ, it is easy to see that a lack of internal accountability
could mean trouble for believers. Nettleton says, "There are those radical groups
that would like to see Pakistan look like Afghanistan used to look, with
hardline Islamic government very much run according to the Quran, with no Christian

Nettleton urges Christains to keep
praying for boldness: "Whatever happens in this situation, we still
need to be bold witnesses for Jesus Christ. We still need to be talking to our friends and our neighbors and
telling them about the hope of salvation through Jesus." Click here if you can help.


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