Pakistan has the fifth largest population of any country in the world - more than 210 million people! It is officially named The Islamic Republic of Pakistan showing clearly that it is a predominantly Islamic nation. Yet there are many Christians there - estimated to be more than 2 million.
It is believed, and quite well substantiated, that during the 1st Century, Jesus' disciple Thomas came to the region where Pakistan is now. While Paul was going west, Thomas was going east and Christianity took root. Later, the East India Company is credited with not only trading in spices, but also sharing the good news of Jesus with people in the area of Pakistan. In the 1800's missionaries came - Catholic, Anglican, and Protestant, establishing churches, the fruit of which is evidenced today.
So, the Christians in Pakistan have a multi-generational history of knowing and following Christ. Because they are such a small minority there at this time, they are often marginalized, but they do work and support their families as well as they can. In some urban areas, many live in Christian colonies, one of which we visited on our recent trip. The accommodations are poor at best, but they have places to live and others of like mind with whom to share their lives.
We found, though, that one of our missions as Christian visitors to this country was to encourage our fellow believers who live in these difficult circumstances. They responded with warm welcomes and with joy as we talked with them and shared God's truth with them, letting them know they are not alone. They need to know there are brothers and sisters all over the world who stand with them.
So we went, we prayed for them, we ate with them, and we visited their homes and blessed their families. Please join us in prayer for these brothers and sisters in Christ. Remember their needs, pray that God would encourage and strengthen them day by day.
"Oh sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth!
Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples!" - Psalm 96:1-3