“The hardest place on earth to be a Christian”

That would be Pakistan, according to Jesse Johnson.  It isn’t just that Christian are persecuted by the government.  The entire culture systematically excludes, punishes, and torments Christians.  Christians may not attend schools or universities, so most of them are illiterate.  This keeps them from getting decent jobs. Their testimony is not accepted in a court of law, so they lack legal protection.  Their daughters are routinely kidnapped.  Christians are often accused of blasphemy and murdered.

From Jesse Johnson, The hardest place on earth to be a Christian | the Cripplegate:

While there are many terrible places on earth to be a Christian (Sudan, North Korea, Afghanistan, Bhutan, etc.), Pakistan is arguably the worst. Other nations persecute believers, but in Pakistan the entire country has spent generations forming a world view that values the torturing of those that claim the name of Christ.

Pakistan used to have a noticeable Christian presence. Presbyterians had a sizeable school system, and those schools were largely responsible for the country’s relatively high literacy. But in 1973 Islam become the nation’s religion and the government seized those schools and replaced their teachers and curriculum. Now the Koran is required to be read and recited in all classes at all levels. When little kids learn science, they memorize passages about how Mohammad prophesied modern inventions. When they learn English, they learn it through the Koran. Meanwhile, it is illegal for Christians to touch or own the Koran.

Now, 40 years later, this plan was successful. Literacy in Pakistan is around 50%, but literacy for Christians is less than 10%. Universities require Koran memorization for entrance, so Christians are unable to hold any jobs which require an education. There are only a handful of believers who work for the government at any level. Christians are reduced to living in slums, where they are routinely robbed, and their houses frequently burned.

But that is not the worst of what happens to Christians there. The worst is that their children—particularly their young daughters—are the targets of violence. It is estimated by the few Christian organizations that track these things that around 3,000 Christian girls between the ages of 10-12 are kidnapped every year. Schools make Christians wear different uniforms than the other students, making them easy targets. They are forced to “convert” to Islam and marry Muslims (often becoming a man’s third or fourth wife), and their children are by law considered Muslim. Young kidnapped girls that refuse to convert and marry are beaten, physically tortured, and either killed or simply raped and left to die naked in the wilderness.

Christians do not have access to the legal system in Pakistan. By law, a Christian’s testimony carries only half credibility in court. Police must arrest Christians for any crime they are accused of, and they are really only accused of one crime: blasphemy, which carries an automatic death sentence. In perhaps the most perverse aspect of the legal system there, the government can say that they have never officially executed anyone for blasphemy because it is the lawyers who often carry out the execution before the trial.

Judges in Pakistan have been thoroughly intimidated by Al Qaeda. They know that if they ever find a Christian innocent of blasphemy that the judge’s family will be murdered. A few years ago (when there were still lawyers who would defend Christians) a Christian was convicted of writing blasphemy against Mohamed, and her case was appealed to the Supreme Court. There it was shown that the accused was actually illiterate, and obviously incapable of writing. The judge acquitted her, and he was murdered the next day. Since then there have been no cases of Christians found “not guilty.” They usually don’t even survive to their trial.

[Keep reading. . . .]

HT:  Joe Carter

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.


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