A Christian friend in Pakistan emails a simple message: “Not too many people here optimistic.”
Another email arrives, from International Christian Concern, with the subject line: “EMERGENCY RESPONSE: 200 Christian Homes Burned Down In Pakistan.”
A Pakistani newspaper, The News, carries a lengthy and horrifying history of the persecution of Christians in the country.
The history of persecution of Christians in Pakistan is not very old. Just 15 years ago, a Christian Ayub Masih was the first to be convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to death. Ayub was accused by a neighbour of stating that he supported British writer Salman Rushdie, author of “The Satanic Verses.”
Though the lower court had upheld Ayub’s conviction, his lawyer was able to prove before the Pakistan Supreme Court that the accuser had used the conviction to force Masih’s family off their land and then acquired control of the property. Masih was resultantly released.
And then everything gets worse. The report details an appalling catalog of crimes against Christians.
It is difficult to be optimistic about Pakistan.