Map reflects the 30 most recent Persecution Reports. Click HERE
for the Map Legend.
Monday, March 10th, 2014
In this brief report, the Christian community of Islamabad, Pakistan reports that a new church construction has been bulldozed by angry Muslim neighbors. Although the unwarranted destruction of the church is clearly illegal, local sources say none of the culprits have been arrested. Making up about 1.6% of the population, Christians in Pakistan face some of the most discriminatory living conditions on earth, and are occasionally the target of wide-scale mob violence.
Sunday, March 9th, 2014
For Christians, few places on earth are today a more challenging place to live than in Pakistan. Routinely accused of "blasphemy" against Islam, entire Christian communities must sometimes flee attacks by mobs of angry radical Muslims. Politicians who stand up for Christian civil liberties are assassinated and last year a single suicide bombing attack on the All Saints Church in Peshawar left more than 80 Christians dead. Courts in the Netherlands are considering granting Pakistani Christians special refugee status, allowing them to seek refuge in the Netherlands more easily than refugees from the rest of the world.
Tuesday, March 4th, 2014
Three years after the assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti, a Christian MP in Pakistan, the trial against his killers continues. Bhatti was killed due to his work protecting Christians and his criticism of Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws. Paul Bhatti, Shahbaz Bhatti's older brother, has now stepped up to continue is brother's work. For this, he has also began to receive the death threats his brother experienced. Please pray for him and all Christian in Pakistan.
Monday, March 3rd, 2014
On March 2nd, Christians in Pakistan marked the third anniversary of the slaying of Shahbaz Bhatti. Bhatti, the Federal Minister for Religious Minorities, was assassinated shortly after speaking out against Pakistan's abusive blasphemy laws and defending Christian mother, Asia Bibi. Bhatti, a Christian himself, believed that Pakistan's blasphemy laws were abusive and unequally used against Christians. Please remember Bhatti and Christians in Pakistan today.
Sunday, February 23rd, 2014
Converting from Islam to Christianity has never been an easy thing, especially so in country's like Pakistan. Once an individual has left Islam in a country like Pakistan, they are often alienated by their family and are sometimes treated with serious hostility. In the case of one Christian convert in Pakistan, his conversion ultimately led to his death.
Thursday, February 20th, 2014
Injustice, discrimination and persecution continue to dominate the lives of many Christians living in Pakistan. Last week, a Christian boy and Muslim girl ran away together and got married without the consent of their families. This incident let to several Christians being arrested and a Christian community almost being destroyed by a Muslim mob. The local police arrested and tortured three of the Christians they were charged with "protecting." Will Christians in Pakistan ever be able to live and equal and peaceful life?
Thursday, February 20th, 2014
Pakistan continues to be criticized by the international community for its abusive and controversial blasphemy laws. In Pakistan, defiling a Quran, defaming the Prophet Mohammed or hurting religious feelings can warrant life imprisonment and even execution. Unfortunately, these laws are used to persecute religious minorities in Pakistan, including Christians. Today, even openly standing for reform to the blasphemy laws is enough to invite violence. Will Pakistan ever be able to reform?
Wednesday, February 19th, 2014
Christians face a rising level of religious freedom around the world, and especially in the Middle East. Two recent studies from respected research organizations, Pew Forum and Open Doors, have highlighted the massive scale of the issue. Many are pushing for the United States to make the protection of religious minorities a core part of foreign policy, which the administration says that it already is. The problem has been in the failure to back the rhetoric with action. While there are political issues involved, it is imperative that the positions that exist to protect religious minorities be quickly filled if the United States is to have any credibility behind its claims to be a defender of religious freedom.
Wednesday, February 19th, 2014
In March 2011, the then minister for minority affairs, Shahbaz Bhatti, was assassinated by Islamic radicals because of his open criticism of Pakistan's controversial and abusive blasphemy laws. Bhatti specifically highlighted how the blasphemy laws were disproportionately abused to persecute Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan. He also spoke boldly in the blasphemy case against a Christian woman, Asia Bibi. Now, the Bhatti's killers may go free due to death threats and intimidation.
Tuesday, February 18th, 2014
According to reports from the ACLJ, 2 Christian men in Pakistan have avoided imprisonment due to false murder accusations leveled against them. False accusations of crimes, especially blasphemy, are very common for Christians in Pakistan. Many of these accusations are leveled against Christians by Muslims who seek to settle personal scores or are seeking economic gain. Because there is almost never any punishment for those who level these false accusations, many Christians fear any type of conflict with a Muslim who could falsely accuse them of some crime and thus radically change their life.
Monday, February 17th, 2014
Due to death threats and peace talks between the Pakistani Taliban and the government, the killers of Christian cabinet minister, Shahbaz Bhatti, could be released from prison without facing justice. In 2011, Shahbaz Bhatti was gunned down due to his criticism of Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws. Calling for reform to the laws, Shahbaz was among the only government official brave enough to speak out publicly about the laws and how they were abused against religious minorities, especially Christians. Will Shahbaz and his family ever receive justice?
Sunday, February 16th, 2014
Pakistan remains among the most hostile nations for religious minorities. Christians, who make up only 2% of Pakistan's population, face persecution and hostility from many angles. False blasphemy accusations, church bombings, kidnappings and general communal violence are just a few of the issues faced by Christians in Pakistan. Please, remember Christians living in Pakistan in your prayers today.
Friday, February 14th, 2014
Police in Islamabad, Pakistan have been accused of torturing and killing a Christian they took in for interrogation relating to a thief charge earlier this week. Police claim that the Christian man hung himself in his cell, but initial investigations into the death say that the man died because of severe internal injuries caused by torture and abuse. Christians arrested for any crime in Pakistan are often singled out for extra abuse and torture due to their religious identity. Please pray for justice in this case.
Thursday, February 13th, 2014
Thursday, February 13th, 2014
Pakistan continues to be ranked by the Pew Research Center as one of the most hostile nations for religious minorities. False blasphemy accusations, forced conversions, forced marriages, church bombings and widespread social discrimination are just a few of the issues faced by Christians and other religious minorities that call Pakistan home. Will these conditions ever change?
Wednesday, February 12th, 2014
Pakistan's abusive and controversial blasphemy laws continues to at the root of many instances of Christian persecution in Pakistan. Often used to settle personal scores or for economic gain, the blasphemy laws are often wielded as a weapon of choice when it comes to abusing religious minorities in Pakistan. Many of the critics of the blasphemy laws have come under threat from extremist groups and two of the country's most vocal critics were murdered for calling for reform to the blasphemy laws. Will things ever change? Will Pakistan ever be able to put the issue of blasphemy in the past?
Tuesday, February 11th, 2014
Discrimination against Christians in the workplace in Pakistan remains a common practice in Pakistan. Many employers in the country's Muslim-majority refuse to hire Christians and other religious minorities. When forced to do so, these employers often mistreat minority workers and even withhold their pay at times. In Gujrat, Naveed Maqsood, a Christian man employed at a local school, has been facing this persecution for years. The principle of the school, a Muslim woman, has refused to pay Maqsood for months because of his Christian identity.
Monday, February 10th, 2014
Pakistan continues to be among the most difficult and hostile countries for religious minorities. Faced with social violence, extremists groups, discrimination and blasphemy laws, the Christian population of Pakistan, which only makes up around 2% of the country, must struggle to survive. Despite this overwhelming amount of persecution, Christians and other minority religions in Pakistan are stepping up to protect themselves and resist the persecution they face daily.
Sunday, February 9th, 2014
The elder brother of assassinated Christian government minister Shahbaz Bhatti has fled Pakistan following death treats issued by Islamic militants. In 2011, Shahbaz Bhatti, the then Minister of National Harmony and Minority Affairs, was assassinated after he openly criticized Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws. When he began calling for reform to the country's stance on the issue of blasphemy, Shahbaz Bhatti was assassinated by Islamic extremists. Following his murder, many have feared speaking out against Pakistan's blasphemy laws.
Saturday, February 8th, 2014
A Pakistani court has canceled the bails of 36 men accused of participating in an attack on a Christian neighborhood last March. The attack followed a blasphemy accusation being leveled against a Christian man from that neighborhood. Blasphemy accusations continue to be among the major causes of Christian persecution in Pakistan. Please pray that justice is done in this case.
Friday, February 7th, 2014
The murder of a Christian pastor in Pakistan has devastated an entire Christian community. In late December, Rashid Mehmood, a Muslim convert to Christianity turned preacher, was run off the road by a truck while riding on a motorbike with a close friend. Many Christians in the area believe Mehmood was murdered due to his conversion from Islam. Pray for this suffering Christian community.
Thursday, February 6th, 2014
A Christian woman in Lahore, Pakistan has been abducted by a wealthy Muslim landowner, forced to convert to Islam and then forcefully married to her kidnapper. So far, local authorities have taken little action against the Muslim landowner which has led to a public protest being headed by the woman's family. Due to little intervention by local authorities, the abduction and forced marriage/conversion of Christian women has become a common practice in Pakistan. Once taken, these women are reduced to a "state of slavery." Strangely, the world isn't calling this issues what it is... human trafficking.
Wednesday, February 5th, 2014
Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws continue to be at the root of many incidents of Christians persecution in the South Asian nation. Frequently abused by Pakistan's Sunni Muslim majority, religious minorities, including Christians, understand that even the slightest altercation can lead to a trumped up blasphemy charge being leveled against them. These allegations, whether false or not, often are a prelude to broader communal violence focused against religious minorities. In March 2013, a blasphemy accusation against a Christians in Lahore led to the destruction of an entire Christian neighborhood called Joseph Colony.
Tuesday, February 4th, 2014
The Lahore High Court has revoked the bail of 36 suspected radicals charged in connection with the attack on the Christian neighborhood, Joseph Colony, in March 2013. According to reports, these radicals burned down over 180 Christian homes, shops and properties following the claim that a Christian man from Joseph Colony has committed blasphemy. Blasphemy accusations continue to be a prelude to larger communal violence and are at times used as an excuse to attack Christian neighborhoods. Please pray that justice is done in this case.
Friday, January 31st, 2014
Since their enactment in the 1980's, Pakistan's blasphemy laws have been frequently abused to settle scores, material gain and to persecute religious minorities. Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan are disproportionately accused and convicted under the controversial laws. The Evangelical Alliance of the United Kingdom has called on the U.K. government to pressure Pakistan into reforming its blasphemy laws. Will change happen?
Thursday, January 30th, 2014
Christians in Pakistan continue to face unprecedented levels of abuse and persecution. In the Christian neighborhood of Horizon Plaza, located in Pakistan's southern city Karachi, Christians living there are being forced out of land ownership by religious extremists and criminal gangs. These elements find Christians to be an easy target in Pakistan because local authorities across the South Asian country don't bother to protect the rights of religious minorities. Please keep these Christians in prayer.
Wednesday, January 29th, 2014
Pakistan's abusive blasphemy laws continues to be among the preferred weapons used by extremists to persecute religious minorities, including Christians, in Pakistan. Members of religious minorities are often falsely accused of blasphemy to settle personal scores or for material gain. Pakistan is currently deciding whether to make the death penalty to exclusive punishment of blasphemy. Many religious minorities fear this change because the law is already so widely abused.
Tuesday, January 28th, 2014
A recent order by Pakistan's Federal Sharia Court (FSC) has many Pakistani Christians concerned that life is about to get much harder in an already tough country. On December 4th, the FSC ordered the Pakistani government to remove life imprisonment from the list potential punishments for those convicted of blasphemy. This would effectively leave the death penalty as the exclusive punishment for blasphemy. Christians and other religious minorities fear this change because Pakistan's blasphemy laws are already frequently abused to persecute minority communities. The change to the laws would only make an already deadly law even deadlier.
Sunday, January 26th, 2014
The Methodist Church in Britain has expressed grave concern over a recent ordered handed down by Pakistan's Federal Sharia Court (FSC). On December 4th, the FSC ordered the Pakistani government to take action to remove life imprisonment from the list of punishments applicable to those found guilty of blasphemy. This order would effectively leave the death penalty as the exclusive punishment in cases of blasphemy. Many Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan fear this potential development because the blasphemy laws are already widely abused against religious minorities. The government has until February 4th to implement the FSC's order. Please pray for the safety and well being of Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan.
Saturday, January 25th, 2014
In early December, the Federal Sharia Court of Pakistan ordered the government of Pakistan to remove the punishment of life imprisonment from the country's controversial blasphemy laws, leaving death as the exclusive punishment. Pakistan's government has until February 4th to implement this order. Christians and other religious minorities fear this change to the country's blasphemy laws. The laws are often abused and targeted at religious minorities. Please pray for the Christians of Pakistan as they face this tough time.