Christians continue to be persecuted in Pakistan without any sign of change. By Nasir Saeed


Persecution continues to escalate against Christians in Pakistan, and this is despite Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's reiterated statements that minorities will be protected.
Pakistan’s minorities, particularly Christians, have been suffering since the country's inception and have been living under constant fear for their lives for several decades. They are under constant attack and unfortunately a large number of atrocities are being committed against them by extremist groups in Punjab, which is a stronghold of the present government PML-N (Pakistan Muslim League). Since PML-N has close ties with these groups, it is unlikely that the Punjab government will take any stern action against them.
The recent attack on two churches in Youhanabad, the subsequent setting on fire and killing of teenage boy, Nauman, after he was identified as Christian, gunmen opening fire on Christian schools, and last month's shooting at St. Peter’s Catholic Church and High School in Township, Lahore, are just a few recent examples of attacks against Christians.
The situation is extremely worrying and there is enough evidence to force any government to look in to the causes of why one particular minority group is being victimised, and then make some action plan to control the situation. But unfortunately the Punjab government still seems far from any pragmatic approach. There is no hope of improvement, instead signs of the situation sadly deteriorating.
The ongoing situation against Christians is internationally recognised with the UNO, Commonwealth, politicians in the west and church, including the Archbishop of Canterbury and Pope Francis, expressing their concern. However it seems to all be falling on the deaf ears of the Pakistani government and its policy makers.
It is therefore very important for all of us to approach those influential people who can speak to the Pakistani government and are in a position to make a difference. It is equally important to keep praying for Pakistani Christians and others who are suffering because of their faith, that God protects them and they may find peace in Him.

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