People in every corner of the globe have been faced with incredible burden and uncertainty this spring due to the coronavirus pandemic. But some in Pakistan have encountered even greater difficulties because of their faith in Jesus.
Just a few months ago, we began broadcasting the Good News of Jesus Christ in two languages in Pakistan—Pashtu and Saraiki.
“It’s been an exciting development to share the hope of Christ with these precious people in Pakistan,” said Director Don Shenk. “But unfortunately, there have been reports in other areas of Pakistan that Christians have been denied aid during the COVID-19 pandemic, simply because of their faith in Jesus. Many Christians around the world face difficulties, persecution, torture and death because they are in the religious minority. When we hear about Christians suffering further during this global crisis, it’s all the more tragic and heart-breaking.”
International Christian Concern has been documenting instances of Pakistani Christians being turned away from aid distribution because of their religious identity. One such example occurred in early April, when more than 100 Christian families from Sandha Kalan village, located in Punjab province, were excluded from a distribution of food aid. The aid, collected by a village management committee, was designed to be distributed among all deserving families in the village. However, not a single Christian family was allowed to receive the help.
Then, Independent Catholic News also reported that Christians in Karachi went on record as saying that NGOs operating in the port city and providing food to the homeless were refusing to give food vouchers to members of minority faith groups, reporting that only Muslims were provided the vouchers.
As of the end of April, Pakistan had approximately 14,000 coronavirus cases and nearly 300 deaths.