A letter from… Faisalabad, Pakistan
Underground Christianity in Pakistan
Christians are a very severely persecuted minority in Pakistan, and our living conditions here are very poor. Most leaders are afraid to speak up for Christians. I have done so on many occasions, and, as a result, the Taliban has issued a fatwa against me and my family. Because of this death sentence, I travel nowhere without security, which is also around my home day and night.
Life for Christians here has many challenges. Apart from those in menial jobs, most Christians are not able to fully support their families; many end up in slavery in the brick kilns because of debt; education is generally denied them or is of a low standard; many young girls work as domestic servants in the homes of rich Muslims and are often abused and raped.
With the help of Woodland Christian Trust in the UK, and others around the world, we have been able to build a fine Christian school for about 800 pupils up to high school age. We received government registration to teach both boys and girls, but this was withdrawn within days of opening. They demanded that girls are educated separately.
We had planned to build a rescue centre for some of the abused girls. Now those plans have been changed and we are raising funds through Woodland Christian Trust to build a combined girls school and rescue centre. It will have 120 rescue beds in dormitories and a girls’ school for about 350 girls. We have bought the land, and we are in need of much money to complete the building.
In addition to overseeing many churches and the Christians in the brick kilns, we are also paying the debts of these slave families to release them from their burden. The cost varies for each family, but, in addition to the debt, we pay rent for about two months for the family and give them what is needed to make sure they don’t fall back into debt. Last November, the Trust helped us to rescue another four families; three of them were given a donkey and cart, and the fourth set up with a properly stocked small shop business. All four families are doing well.
My church sent about 40 of its members to minister for one month to the Peshawar church, which lost 162 members in a suicide terrorist attack last September. We also gave each bereaved family financial help. As I write, a Christian community near to my home has been destroyed and the government will not compensate or rehouse them. Again we are able to give each family financial help to enable them to feed their families.
The problems are enormous, but with God’s help and the financial support of others like Woodland Christian Trust, we will overcome.
Pastor Moses’ name has been changed for security reasons. To support his work in Pakistan, make a donation to Woodland Christian Trust by visiting www.woodlandchristiantrust.org.uk, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or writing to 11b Woodland Terrace, London SE7 8EW
This article was published in the September 2014 edition of Reform.