We seek to show God’s compassion by providing for the practical needs of Christians who are being persecuted and their families. These include the relatives of prisoners of faith; families who have lost a loved one to persecution, and persecuted communities targeted with violence.
Our support may include: livelihoods training, trauma support, medical aid, pastoral care, Christian resources or providing essentials such as food and clothing.
One country where we are providing compassionate care to our persecuted family is Pakistan. Christians are among the poorest and most marginalised in Pakistani society. In areas such as Punjab, most people in bonded labour in local brick kilns, for example, are Christian.
Christian women are generally forced to take low-paid work, often in domestic service, and many reportedly suffer physical and sexual abuse from their employers. There have been many reports of Christian women and girls being abducted, forcibly converted to Islam and married to Muslim men against their will.
Pakistan’s blasphemy laws – especially the notorious Section 295C of the Penal Code – are often used against religious minorities to settle personal scores. So the number of Christians charged and imprisoned is disproportionately high. Even if they are finally acquitted, those accused face the threat of attack from extremists on their release.
The Christian community in Pakistan has also been the target of bombings such as those in recent years in Peshawar and Lahore, which resulted in many dead and injured.