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Damaged property from the fire

According to the most recent reports, hundreds of homes in a Christian neighbourhood of Lahore were set on fire by thousands of Muslim extremists during two days of violence that began during the evening of March 8th, and then continued again the following morning. The attacks were sparked by yet another incident involving blasphemy allegations against a local Christian.

It all began when a young man by the name of Sawan Masih got involved in a petty dispute with a close Muslim friend. Following the incident, police arrested Sawan who was accused of blasphemy. When the allegations were broadcast from mosque loudspeakers, thousands of Muslims went on a rampage in the community, setting fire to approximately 200 homes. In addition, two churches, a chapel and many shops were vandalized; numerous Christians had been beaten; houses were looted; and hundreds of Bibles purposely burned. Fearing for their lives, nearly all the residents of this terror-stricken region fled, some on the advice of local police. For more on the challenges facing Christians in Pakistan, go to the Pakistan Country Report.

Pray that in the aftermath of these violent attacks, the people of this Christian community will be granted the courage and hope needed to rebuild their lives and emerge even stronger in their faith. May those with political power and influence take a strong stand against such terrible acts of lawlessness, proactively doing more to protect all the innocent and vulnerable members of the community. Also pray that the charges made against Sawan will be dropped, and that his family and community will be protected from further incidents of violence.

Current Ministry Projects

VOMC partners to train Christian women in sewing skills throughout Pakistan to provide a sustainable source of income for their families and encourage them in their faith and witness for Christ.

Project Funds: Families of Martyrs, Women’s Ministry

Country Information

Population
238,181,034 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Punjabi (44.7), Pashtun [Pathan] (15.4), Sindhi (14.1), Saraiki (8.4) Muhajirs (7.6) Balochi (3.6), Other (6.3)

Religion (%)
Islam (96.5), Other - Christian and Hindu (3.5)

Leader
President Arif Alvi (2018)

Government type
Federal parliamentary republic

Legal system
Common law system with Islamic law influence

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Pakistan

Pray that amendments will be made to Pakistan's existing blasphemy laws so that the country's citizens – including its children – will be protected from injustice and abuse. May our Lord's mercy and justice prevail, not only in the judiciary system but also in the hearts of the country's militants. Ask Him to transform their "hearts of stone" into hearts that are receptive to His love, mercy and the workings of His Holy Spirit – not only for the purpose of protecting the Christian minority but also for the salvation of their own eternal souls.

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