Conflict and death of bin Laden fuelling persecution in Pakistan

ICC Note:

“The persecution of Christians in Pakistan has intensified as a result of the war in Afghanistan and the death of Osama bin Laden,” Release International told Christian Today.

11/17/2011 Pakistan (Christian Today) – The persecution of Christians in Pakistan has intensified as a result of the war in Afghanistan and the death of Osama bin Laden, Release International has warned.

The organisation, which supports the persecuted church worldwide, said Christians were being targeted because of the close association of Christianity and the West in the minds of many Pakistanis.

One partner of the charity, who cannot be named for his own protection, said: “Ten years ago there was some peace, but now it’s getting very tense. Day by day the situation is getting worse in Pakistan.”

He said that those who embrace Christianity as their faith are liable to be killed or live a very difficult existence.

“They are isolated and live in secret and receive death threats from their relatives and friends,’ he said.

Several Christians who have been forced to live in hiding tell their stories in the latest edition of Release magazine.

A former Islamic cleric told Release he had to flee for his life after he had a vision of Christ in a dream.

The convert, who cannot be named for security reasons, had taught in the mosque for 11 years when he said Christ appeared to him.

“Jesus Christ said to me that he had purchased me by giving his blood,” he said.

When word got out about his conversion, he had no choice but to flee from his home. He was cut off from his children when his wife took out a court order against him.

“It was the toughest time of my life because my colleagues were after me to kill me. They were very angry and wanted to take my life.”

His wife later had a change of heart after saying God also appeared to her in a dream, but he remains in hiding.

In spite of the hardship, he has no regrets about his conversion.

“I am very happy being a Christian. Even in the suffering, the persecution, every problem, every difficulty makes me strong in the faith.”

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