Persecution of Christians in Pakistan: We reported on March 31 of an instance of this in Karachi and on April 6 of another in Lahore, and there have been other reports of denials of aid to Christians elsewhere in Pakistan. In the Islamic Republic, Christians, Hindus, and other religious minorities are routinely subjected to multiple forms of discrimination and harassment. To continue this discrimination during the coronavirus pandemic is particularly cruel.

Please pray that the Christian community in Pakistan will be able to endure this martyrdom and experience a resurrection, and that relief will come to this courageous and long-suffering Christian community.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in Pakistan, see here.

“Cleric in Pakistan Touts Use of COVID-19 Aid to Convert Minorities to Islam,” International Christian Concern, May 8, 2020:

05/08/2020 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – Church leaders and human rights activists in Pakistan are speaking out against a video in which an Islamic cleric claims his organization is using COVID-19 food aid to convert non-Muslims to Islam. Pakistani Christians claim this cleric and his organization are misusing the COVID-19 pandemic to abuse Pakistan’s already persecuted religious minorities.

Appearing on Mandi Channel, an Islamic TV channel in Pakistan, an Islamic cleric claims his organization, named Dawat-e-Islami, is converting non-Muslims to Islam using COVID-19 food aid. The cleric specifically brought up an example of a man who recently converted to Islam.

“The staff of the organization offered him conversion against food which he accepted,” the cleric claimed. The cleric went on to say the converted man was renamed Muhammad Ramdan and has started following the Islamic ritual of fasting.

Approximately 45% of Pakistan’s population lives below the poverty line, earning most of their income through daily labor jobs. Pakistan’s national lockdown, which started on March 21, has cut off many of these laborers from earning daily wages.

Pakistan’s Christian community has been particularly hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to widespread discrimination and intolerance, Pakistani Christians have been marginalized to the country’s poorest and most vulnerable sections of society. Many Christians depend upon the daily labor jobs which have been curtailed by the lockdown.

In addition to these challenges, reports of Christians being denied desperately needed food aid have come to light. Since the lockdown started, International Christian Concern (ICC) has documented at least four incidents in which Christians were denied food aid because of their religious identity….