Open doors

T

he LORD is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?
– Psalm 27:1 (NIV-UK)

Dear Christian Friends

Christians in Peshawar, northern Pakistan, received dozens of letters this week threatening them with death if they refuse to become Muslims.

Police have been providing security around churches, even as Christians received new deadlines for converting to Islam.

Believers continue to live in fear, skipping services and cancelling church activities.

A spokesman for the Church of Pakistan said that on
7 August some of the letters had been thrown into the courtyards of Christian homes saying if they don’t become Muslims they will be killed.

Many Pakistani Muslims associate Pakistani Christians with the West, and the letters said in part: “Our mosques and children are being martyred at American orders. Therefore the churches will also be wiped off the face of the earth.”

In a similar incident last May, more than 50 Christians fled the village of Charsadda when a local Christian politician received a letter threatening death if the community did not embrace Islam. The letter turned out to be a prank by some Muslim teenagers, but at least five families who fled then have never returned.

Violent incidents have been perpetrated against Christians in Pakistan for several years. In November 2005, a mob of several thousand Muslims destroyed four churches, a convent and Christian schools in the Punjabi town of Sangla Hill after a Muslim accused a Christian of committing blasphemy.

No one was held responsible for the attacks.

“There is no kind of security that can stop suicide attacks,” said one Christian leader.

You can read more details and see photos on our website here.

Please pray with us that:

• The Lord will strengthen Peshawar‘s Christians who are under threat and cast out their fear with his perfect love

• They will be miraculously protected in ways that convincingly demonstrate to them and to their Muslim and Hindu neighbours that God is with them

• Many Pakistani Muslims will become disillusioned with Islam and will be drawn irresistibly to the loving God revealed in Jesus Christ.

Thank you for praying with us.

Every blessing

John
Communications Team

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