Pakistani Christians Fear New Security Mandate May Lead to Church Closures
01/08/2019 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – On January 2, the government of the Punjab province in Pakistan mandated that churches comply with set security standards by March 31 or faced forcible closure. Pakistani Christians fear this will lead to the closure of many churches across the country.
With less than three months, many churches will struggle to meet the standards set by the provincial government. Due to widespread discrimination, Christians are forced to exist on the lowest rung of Pakistan’s social and economic ladder. Church leaders fear their communities will be unable to provide funding to pay for the new security updates.
In addition to this economic constraint is the fact that the government has yet to define the minimum security requirements for a church. Many churches are now looking to install metal detectors, CCTV cameras, and training volunteer security staff to try to meet the new security mandate.
Christians also fear this mandate for security means the government will not take steps to protect churches. As explained by FMI’s Bruce Allen, “The government is essentially saying to the Christians ‘Don’t rely on us to help you in case of an attack. You’re on your own.’”
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