Cultural Violence in Pakistan Fueled by Attacks on Places of Worship

Pakistan Church security volunteers (Photo courtesy of FMI)

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom is taking notice of attacks on places of worship. In countries like Pakistan, worship sites of minority religions are frequently targeted with violence.

Attacks on Churches

FMI’s Executive International Director Bruce Allen often hears reports from the field of attacks on Pakistani churches.

“We are seeing an increase in illegal land seizures or attempts at illegal land seizures where radical Muslims in a community will try and seize the Church property from the Christians, even sometimes while the Christians are in the Church worshipping,” Allen says.

When perpetrators successfully carry out their attacks, Christians rarely receive justice due to deep corruption in the police force and the rest of the judicial system.

Preventing Violence

In early 2019, FMI helped fortify partner churches in Pakistan with security updates. This has protected FMI partner churches when scheduled power outages afford attackers an opportunity to cause harm.

Allen says FMI equipped churches with CVT cameras with night vision capabilities and alternative power sources. This has not only protected churches during power outages but provided them with evidence to prove attacks and discover who is attacking the church. However, FMI does not work with every church or every church planter in Pakistan, meaning neighboring churches are still vulnerable.

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Bethann Flynn