Interview With A Christian From Pakistan
Sometimes it is difficult to know how to pray for our brothers and sisters in countries like Pakistan. We know that Christians face immense persecution, but don’t always know how to pray for them.
The following is an exclusive interview with a Christian woman named Hana* from Pakistan. Would you take a few minutes to read her story and learn what daily life is like for our brothers and sisters in Pakistan?
1. What is daily life like for a Christian in Pakistan?
We do the same things as most people… we have access to the same sources of news and information. Yet the news and information is all a constant reminder that we are different and we are being watched. We live in a goldfish bowl and we are constantly judged; how we eat, how we cleanse ourselves, how we approach God, how we pray, how we worship, how we dress, how we speak, how we believe.
Imagine being watched all the time. Imagine your neighbor asking you to cut down a tall tree in your garden, because it means they cannot look into your home anymore and see what you do. Imagine being asked on the street if you are fasting during Ramadan. Imagine being asked if Christians believe in dressing modestly, because the message the neighbors are getting from TV is that Christianity is “Western” (and anyone associated with the West is often seen as an individual unconcerned with living in a way to please God).
People in our part of the world work hard and Christians are hard-working for the most part. However, many Christians have been unemployed for generations and some are uneducated, having few opportunities to show their skills and their abilities.
Christian women are vulnerable in the workplace. While there are a fair amount of Christian women who suffer and struggle, there are also those who are known for their service to the country as nurses, doctors and teachers. Those, like nuns, who are attached to religious orders (and dedicate their lives to serving the poor and the lost) are respected, although viewed with some interest.
Christian children have a huge advantage if they make it to school. However, Christian children face challenges at school and will always be reminded of their status as Christians (being descendants of the untouchable caste or being associated with the British). These are both stereotypes and not entirely true.
From morning to evening life is a challenge. One day a time we walk with the Lord and ask Him to give us eyes to enjoy the beauty and richness of spring, the blessings of the land in which he has placed us, the friendships waiting to happen if we can put our anger behind us and the opportunities to love and minister His love to those around us.
2. Is persecution worse in some areas compared to others?
Yes, the rural areas are worse. Cities are becoming tougher to live in as a Christian, as the Taliban continues to infiltrate everything, everywhere.
3. How are Christians dealing with the aftermath of most recent attacks in Joseph Colony?
We struggle. We struggle to remind ourselves every day of the most important truth; that when this was happening, Jesus was seated at the right hand of the Father. He was working good in this situation, for those who love Him. These are hard things to understand, but there are comforting truths that we as Christians can hold onto.
The attack was a brutal reminder (yet again) that we are vulnerable. Joseph Colony is a poor colony and that made it vulnerable, but it is also a colony where many Christians live. This attack served as a reminder that if you proclaim the name of Jesus, you will suffer.
Weeks later another Christian colony (Francis Colony) was also threatened in different part of Pakistan. Every time an event like this happens, every time we are reminded of an Asiya Bibi in prison or every time we are reminded of a person like Rimsha Masih, we know that as part of the Body of Christ, we are at risk. We need to pray for one another and walk together in a ministry of reconciliation.
We are tired. We want our friends to know Jesus. Not so our lives will be easier, but so we can see some fruit of all this. Perhaps we will, perhaps we won’t. But what greater joy is there than to see that the work of Christ is being done despite the suffering!
Sadly, we are praying against a false liberation theology that is threatening to affect our youth. It suggests they need to fight back. They are such a small group of people; not only is that not Christ like, it is also unwise. Besides, we are called to be the Light of Christ in this darkness, not to intensify the darkness. Please pray for us for this. We have been working hard to teach young people and particularly victims of persecution that retaliation is not the way and that taking up arms is not the call of Christ to us.
4. Are there some non-Christians standing up for those who are persecuted?
Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! There are! We cannot stop thanking the Lord for this.
5. How can Christians in the USA pray for their brothers and sisters in Pakistan?
For God’s peace to be in our hearts and minds, for us to be able to rest in His love and that His peace that it may flow from us. Please pray for a fresh reminder of the Gospel in every breath we take. It is so easy to become bitter; we have tasted from a very bitter cup. But He is so faithful! He will walk with us through this time. Please pray for us to not retaliate. Pray for a supernatural pouring out of His love over us in these days; that His grace may be sufficient for us and that as we are watched, His grace may be seen in us. Pray for Church leaders and the political situation in the country.
Isn’t this a powerful interview? Though there were many impactful statements made in this interview, the thing that stood out to me the most was her desire to find things to praise God about, despite the persecution. Hana’s answer to the fourth question is so powerful! Christians cannot stop thanking God for non-Christians who are willing to stand up for them!
Thank you for taking the time to read Hana’s interview. Her story represents the stories of so many Christians in Pakistan. Would you join us in lifting up her prayer requests to our heavenly Father today? Thank you for being One With Them!
*Name and photo changed for security purposes