Responding to violence against minorities in Pakistan


by Aslam Nazik, Evangelical Alliance of Pakistan

Pakistan has a long history of religious violence. In the last few decades, violence against religious minorities and other ethnic groups has increased immensely. In recent years, there have been a number of high-profile cases of violence against minorities, including Christians.

On August 16, a tragic incident unfolded in the city of Jaranwala. An instance of alleged blasphemy against the Qur’an led to a mob action that destroyed 25 Christian churches and 340 houses.

Our response

The Evangelical Alliance of Pakistan (EAP) actively engaged in relief efforts by visiting Jaranwala, providing food items and other necessary items. We spent time with the locals, listening to their grievances, and offered comfort and encouragement from the Word of God.

Moreover, we also spent time with some local Muslims who stepped forward to aid their Christian neighbors. We thanked them, prayed for them, and encouraged them to stand fully with the Christians so that they could promote unity and understanding between Muslims and Christians and show the world a positive model of mutual respect and compassion.

The EAP’s plan

This was an eye-opening situation in Pakistan, as churches and organizations realized that we need to take measures to stop such persecution from happening again. The EAP recommends the following actions:

  • Awareness programs. Although we do not believe that Christians are in any way responsible for mob violence, there are some actions that Christians can take to reduce the risk of violence. For this purpose,regular awareness programs must be conducted in churches to help people learn how to live in this society without putting themselves in danger. Churches should also establish boundaries to help people avoid harm. We intend to organize seminars and workshops on topics such as religious tolerance, conflict resolution, and personal safety. 
  • Biblical counseling. In response to the emotional trauma caused by the Jaranwala tragedy, there is a great need to encourage people biblically and through trauma counseling. This incident has shaken the nation and Christians everywhere in Pakistan feel terrified. We need to encourage our people so they can come out of their fear. We aim to provide mental health support and help Christians in Pakistan to stabilize themselves again. 
  • Advocating for legal rights. We want to create awareness about the legal rights granted to minorities in Pakistan. First, we will hold small seminars in churches to explain the legal rights of all citizens of Pakistan. Once the churches understand this, we will invite other minority and majority communities, including Muslims, to highlight the legal rights of minorities in Pakistan and take action to protect them.

We believe that this is an important moment and that we must use it in the best way possible so that future generations will not suffer similar experiences. Join hands with us in prayer for change in Pakistan. Pray that our people may continue to hold on to Christ and continue to preach the gospel message in Pakistan more bravely. Romans 8:28 is our encouragement, and we know that God will bring positive impact from this situation. Pray for God’s provision so that the EAP can undertake these measures for the betterment of our people. Thank you very much.