There are many places where Christians are severely persecuted today, but none is worse than Pakistan. In 2011 the United States Commission on Religious Freedom completed a study of the educational system in Pakistan. They concluded that literally all of the public school teachers they interviewed teach that Islamic Jihad is the violent struggle against infidels and that it is “compulsory” for Muslims to be violent toward Christians. Christian children are forced to wear different uniforms than other students and are marked as targets of harassment. Around 3,000 Christian girls between the ages of 10 and 12 are kidnapped every year, often forced to “convert” to Islam and marry Muslims. If they refuse they are beaten, tortured, and either killed or raped and left to die naked in the wilderness.
It is nearly impossible now for Christians in Pakistan to get an education so many of them cannot read. There are no jobs for them. Christian parents are afraid to teach their own children the gospel out of fear that their children may say something that could get them killed.
Pakistan once had a noticeable and significant Christian presence. That is no longer the case as the campaign against Christians has taken effect. A few years ago a friend of mine went to visit missionaries in that country. When he came home he said he felt a sense of oppression and darkness the entire time he was there. It is more than a little galling that our country treats Pakistan as an ally and sends them billions of dollars in foreign aid with little to no pressure to protect the rights of Christians. There seems to be little that we can do to change that situation as it stands. But we can stay informed and we can pray for our brothers and sisters in that country. We can ask God to somehow break the hold that darkness has on that land. We can and should pray. And we should also give thanks every day for the freedom we have in our land to worship God openly without fear of reprisal. That is a gift so precious we can never calculate its true value.