Pakistani Christians Facing Extra Difficulties During COVID-19 Because of Their Faith

Christian family members hold holy books as they attend Good Friday prayer session via streaming on television in Karachi, Pakistan, April 10, 2020. (Reuters/Akhtar Soomro)

People in every corner of the globe have been faced with incredible burden and uncertainty this spring due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But some in Pakistan have encountered even greater difficulties because of their faith in Jesus.

Just a few months ago, The Tide® (thetide.org) global gospel radio ministry began broadcasting the Good News of Jesus Christ in two languages in Pakistan—Pashtu and Saraiki.

"It's been an exciting development to share the hope of Christ with these precious people in Pakistan," said The Tide Director Don Shenk. "But unfortunately, there have been reports in other areas of Pakistan that Christians have been denied aid during the COVID-19 pandemic, simply because of their faith in Jesus. Many Christians around the world face difficulties, persecution, torture and death because they are in the religious minority. When we hear about Christians suffering further during this global crisis, it's all the more tragic and heartbreaking."

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International Christian Concern has been documenting instances of Pakistani Christians being turned away from aid distribution because of their religious identity. One such example occurred in early April, when more than 100 Christian families from Sandha Kalan village, located in Punjab province, were excluded from a distribution of food aid. The aid, collected by a village management committee, was designed to be distributed among all deserving families in the village. However, not a single Christian family was allowed to receive the help.

Then, Independent Catholic News also reported that Christians in Karachi went on record as saying that NGOs operating in the port city and providing food to the homeless were refusing to give food vouchers to members of minority faith groups, reporting that only Muslims were provided the vouchers.

As of the end of April, Pakistan had approximately 14,000 coronavirus cases and nearly 300 deaths.

For nearly 75 years, The Tide ministry has recorded and broadcasted gospel programming in nine countries on three continents in 27 heart languages spoken by millions of people in multiple regions of Albania, Bhutan, India, Kosovo, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Thailand and Zimbabwe. With more than 7,000 languages spoken worldwide and more than 2,000 people groups that remain unreached by the Good News of Jesus, the opportunities are tremendous.

For more information about The Tide broadcast projects, history, radio programs around the world, special yearlong campaigns, the weekly Global Update radio features or other news, visit its website at thetide.org or its Facebook page. Read more about The Tide ministry and Director Don Shenk here.

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