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04/27/2020 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has reported several incidents in which religious minorities in Pakistan, including Christians and Hindus, have been denied food aid amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This denial of aid has been particularly devastating as many minorities work as laborers and are cut off from their daily earnings because of the national lockdown.

The denials of aid were recently condemned by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). In a released statement, USCIRF said:

These actions are simply reprehensible. As COVID-19 continues to spread, vulnerable communities within Pakistan are fighting hunger and to keep their families safe and healthy. Food aid must not be denied because of one’s faith. We urge the Pakistani government to ensure that food aid from distributing organizations is shared equally with Hindus, Christians, and other religious minorities.

While reports of aid denial continue to be rumored, the Church, both globally and locally, has stepped in to provide aid.

Speaking to Mission Network News, Jonathon, a Christian worker focused in Pakistan, said, “The Pakistani Church is digging really deep into its own resources, and really stepping up to the plate, identifying individual families within each church.

People within the church are giving hugely, generously, an entire month’s salary or two months’ salary, to help feed their brothers and sisters in Christ,” Jonathon continued.

ICC has also launched a campaign to provide COVID-19 aid to persecuted Christians. ICC is already serving families in Pakistan, India, the Middle East as well as other nations where Christians are persecuted. Please continue to pray for the persecuted Church and those seeking to provide aid amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

For interviews, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: [email protected].