Giant Cross a Symbol of Hope and Defiance in Pakistan

This is one way to fight back.

In Pakistan, where the persecution of Christians appears to be intensifying, a businessman is building one of the world’s largest crosses – in Karachi, the Muslim world’s largest city – as a symbol of pride and defiance.

cross-91290_1280The Washington Post tells the story:

Pakistani businessman Parvez Henry Gill says he was sleeping when God crashed into one of his dreams and gave him a job: find a way to protect Christians in Pakistan from violence and abuse. “I want you to do something different,” God told him.

That was four years ago, and Gill, a lifelong devout Christian, struggled for months with how to respond. Eventually, after more restless nights and more prayers, he awoke one morning with his answer: He would build one of the world’s largest crosses in one of the world’s most unlikely places.

“I said, ‘I am going to build a big cross, higher than any in the world, in a Muslim country,’ ” said Gill, 58. “It will be a symbol of God, and everybody who sees this will be worry-free.”

Now, in this overwhelmingly Muslim country, in the heart of a city where Islamist extremists control pockets of some neighborhoods, the 14-story cross is nearly complete.

It is being built at the entrance to Karachi’s largest Christian cemetery, towering over thousands of tombstones that are often vandalized. Once his cross looms over such acts of disrespect, Gill said, he hopes it can convince the members of Pakistan’s persecuted Christian minority that someday their lives will get better.

“I want Christian people to see it and decide to stay here,” said Gill, who started the project about a year ago.

Go to the article to see photos of the cross under construction. And pray for Parvez Henry Gill, as Pakistan is a particularly harsh country in which to be a Christian.

Just two months ago suicide bombers attacked two churches in Lahore, murdering 15 worshippers. In 2013 more than 100 people were killed in a suicide bombing at a church in Peshawar. Christians are routinely persecuted on trumped-up blasphemy charges.

Some might suggest that a giant cross will simply serve as a provocation for further attacks, though it would seem that Pakistan’s Muslims do not need much excuse to feel provoked. Please pray.

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