This week we join with Operation World Prayer Calendar to Pray for Pakistan which is a very strategic nation for reaching the Muslim World.
Why Pray for Pakistan?
- The 5th most Populous Nation. 236 million people.
- The 2nd Largest Muslim nation in the World.
- The nation with 3rd Largest Unreached People Groups – over 350 UPGs (Joshua Project)
- Considered one of the most difficult countries for Christians due to persecution.
- 2nd Highest number of Christians killed for their faith; 620 slain between Oct 2020 to Sept 2021.(Open Doors)
- The 4th highest number of Churches attacked or closed – 183 overall (Morning Star News).
- Still open for the Gospel without restrictions which other Islamic nations have.
- Is uniquely positioned between West Asia and South-East Asia, and neighboring the 2 largest nations in the world; China and India.
Pakistan is an Islamic Republic with a population of 236 million, 97 percent of which are Muslims. The remaining 3 percent are minorities, including Hindus, Christians, and Sikhs. The majority of the 1.5 million Christians are Catholic and life is difficult for those who do not follow Islam as there is no religious freedom.
Pray for Pakistan
‘Brothers and sisters, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith. But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. ‘2 Thessalonians 3:1-3
Summary: Pray for:
- The Unevangelized.
- The Unreached.
- Persecuted Church.
- Muslim Background Believers.
- The Government of Pakistan.
- The Youth
- For the Church.
- Assemblies of God Pakistan.
Pakistan lies at the very heart of the unevangelized world. Over 350 peoples and castes can be regarded as unevangelized. Many of these have no churches, no Christians, no missionaries and no witness. Pakistan is the world’s second-largest concentration of unengaged, unevangelized peoples and the world’s second largest Muslim population. Few countries, if any, present a greater challenge for missions.
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Outreach by Pakistani Christians is an issue needing major change. Few Muslims have come to Christ because the existing Church emerged from the lowest rungs of society – mainly Hindu Dalits of the Punjab and Hindu tribal peoples of the Sindh.
Huge cultural boundaries exist between the Muslim majority and the Christian minority. Little has been done to reach Muslims or even Hindus. Many factors conspire to make Christians fearful, introspective and silent, yet despite the negatives, there is a considerable degree of freedom to openly share the gospel for those with the boldness and faith.
Pray for Christians to be impassioned and equipped to share their faith and to answer the claims and questions of Muslims. Signs of an awakening in this area are appearing, and a small but growing number of indigenous believers are starting to reach out cross-culturally.
THE CHURCH IN PAKISTAN
Churches, comprised mostly of Hindu-background and lower caste believers, do not know how to integrate and disciple these people, and so the large majority of them revert to Islam, turn to atheism or retreat to private faith. Some networks of MBB believers are emerging for mutual spiritual support and discipleship. Pray for such networks to spread and fellowships to form for these believers so that they do not easily fall away. Ask the Lord to raise up leaders for these believers, and for their protection. Pray that any such movement will develop solid disciples with hearts to reach other Muslims.
PRAY FOR THE GOVERNMENT.
In Pakistan, terrorism witnessed a surged following 9/11. Among very complex dynamics, some terrorists fled to Pakistan’s federal tribal areas and began conducting illicit terrorist activities inside Pakistan as well. Beyond this, there are several internal factors and grievances in Pakistan that have contributed towards the presence of terrorism such as ethnicity, illiteracy, inequality, inflation, high unemployment, religious intolerance and political instability.
Pakistan’s government in the past faced the challenge of corruption and authoritarian military dictatorships while power and wealth are concentrated in too few hands. This hinders economic and social development. The country faces pressure from Islamist forces (in the west, Afghanistan, the Punjab), and from troubles with India over the Kashmir region.
Currently terrorism in Pakistan is declining, however, the underlying root causes of extremism remain and haven’t been properly addressed.
Pray that the Lord would free Pakistan from spirits of lawlessness and violence that harm the nation. Pray for government that will move the nation forward.
Religious minorities face discrimination and persecution in many forms. Christians, Hindus, and minority Muslim groups (Shi’a, Ahmaddiya) suffer the most. The famous “blasphemy law” allows the death penalty on anyone who insults Mohammed, and life in prison for anyone who damages a Quran. Extremists use this law to falsely accuse innocent people. They stir up religious frenzy so the crowd enforces the punishment. Enemies of Christ vandalize or destroy churches. They beat, murder, abduct, rape, or force conversion on Christians and other minorities. Even amidst such persecution, Pakistani Christians love their nation and want it to prosper. Pray that believers might always be ready to share about Jesus, and to repay violence with love.
MUSLIM BACKGROUND BELIEVERS.
MBBs are in a unique and challenging situation. Islam, particularly under shari’a, has grave or deadly punishments for apostates. Yet increasing numbers of Muslims are coming to faith in Jesus, often through media such as literature, radio, TV as well as dreams and visions and the witness of Pakistani Christians. Some are ex-militants.
THE YOUTH IN PAKISTAN
Young people are a major subject for prayer, since 37% of the population are under age 15 and 50% are under 24. School enrolment is low (only 40% in state schools), but thankfully rising as child-labour rates decline. Pray about these issues:
- Rural youth, two-thirds of Pakistan’s young people, must deal with poverty and the perpetuation of medieval practices – such as child labour, bonded labour (often lasting multiple generations) and forced marriages (often of children to repay debts). They usually have little chance of advancement in life and little opportunity to hear the gospel.
- Young urbanites face endemic corruption in both education and employment practices as well as disillusionment with politics and the system in general. The future holds grave danger if these issues are not addressed; eager recruiters for militant groups easily prey on such youth.
- Drug addiction is a massive challenge. Studies indicate up to seven million chronic drug abusers, many of whom are university students or from the educated class.
PRAY FOR ASSEMBLIES OF GOD PAKISTAN
Pray for Assemblies of God Pakistan which is laboring in the harvest amidst many challenges.
There are over 125 AG Churches spread throughout the 3 Regional Provincial Councils of AG KPK, AG Punjab, and AG Sindh.
Pray for the AG Leadership Team led by Rev. Paul Zia.
- Pastor Samson John – Vice Chairman
- Pastor Shabaz Butta – General Secretary
- Pastor Dawood Masih – Assistant Secretary
- Pastor Shafqat Saghar – Treasurer
- Pastor Pervaiz Zia Ullah – Assistant Treasurer
- Pastor Davis Shauq – Member
Let us Pray for the Leaders in Pakistan as Paul prayed for the Church in Philippians 1:9-11
‘And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. ‘Philippians 1:9-11
Pakistan AG has 3 Bible Schools:
1. AG Agape Bible Institue in KPK
2. AG Nehemia Bible School in Islamabad
3. AGBS Quetta
Pray that God will raise more laborers to the Harvest Field.
“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field” Luke 10:2.
PRAY FOR THE MISSIONS VISION OF PAKISTAN AG.
Pray for the Missions vision of Pakistan AG to reach their Unreached People Groups.
The AG Peshawar Church which was led by the late Rev. Hashmet – who was a member of the Missions Commission – conducted regular Missions Conferences bringing leaders together to challenge on Missions.
According to the report of this year’s 7th Frontier Missions Conference, 191 Pastors, Mission Leaders, and Evangelists participated, who were presented with studies on the tribal/cultural/linguistic aspects of People Groups in every province of Pakistan. The Senior leadership of AG Pakistan was present along with other Mission Organizations’ leaders who equipped and challenged participants for missions and many responded to this call.
Pictures by Hanook Hashmet.
PRAY FOR THE UNREACHED OF PAKISTAN.
Thank you for Praying for Pakistan!
Sources: Operation World, Open Doors, Joshua Project, Churchinneed.org, Morning Star News, VOA News.
Picture Credits: Worldatlas.com, Aletia.org, Thenews.com.pk, Geo.tv -INP News, Shutterstock.