In Pakistan, social distancing measures don’t help many Christians, who labor every day for their daily food needs. Without work, these people need food distribution to survive.
Many have been denied access to this food. The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released a statement condemning the rejection of Christians and Hindus for food aid in Pakistan.
Jonathon, a Christian worker focused in Pakistan, says, “It doesn’t appear that these are the official policies of particular organizations. These are overly zealous workers that are telling people, ‘Oh, you need to recite the Muslim creed.’ Or, ‘You should become a Muslim . . . we’re not going to give you food unless you become a Muslim.’ [Those things] have happened.”
Jonathon says this kind of discrimination against religious minorities is common in Pakistan. But the restriction of the food to only Muslims probably has a religious reason. One of the five Pillars of Islam, Zakat, means all Muslims must give a small percentage of all their assets to the poor.
He explains how this translates to Christians and Hindus getting left out. “Some Muslims have felt, ‘I’m doing this out of my responsibility as a Muslim. This is really intended for my fellow Muslims. For me to get the religious merit that is associated with giving to the poor, those funds should go to Muslims since it was given by a Muslim with that intent.”
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: Mission Network News, Kevin Zeller
CALL TO ACTION
- Thank the Lord for Christians in Pakistan, and pray that they will all have enough food during this difficult time.
- Consider supporting the Christians in Pakistan as they support each other.