Local Missionaries in Pakistan
Nearly twice the size of California, Pakistan is located between India, Afghanistan, China, and Iran. Its climate ranges from hot and dry to arctic in the northern highlands. The country is home of a 62-mile long glacier system, the largest outside the north and south poles.
Formerly a part of British-controlled India, it separated in 1947. With a 1973 constitution stating that all laws are to conform to Islam as outlined in the Koran and Sunnah (sayings and deeds of Muhammad), the state religion in Pakistan is Sunni Islam. Freedom of religion is guaranteed by the constitution, but longstanding discrimination and persecution against Christians has intensified in recent years as Islamic extremism has spread. The population is 96 percent Muslim, 1.85 percent Hindu and 1.5 percent Christian, among other tiny religious minorities. Pakistan has the second-largest number of Muslims in the world after Indonesia.
Urdu and English are the official languages, with Urdu a symbol of national, Islamic unity and English used primarily in business, government and legal matters. More than 75 percent of Pakistanis understand Urdu, but more than 60 languages are spoken in the country. The major ethnic groups are the Punjabis (44.7 percent), Pashtuns (15.4 percent), Sindhis (14.1 percent), Saraikis (8.4 percent) and Muhajirs (7.6 percent).
Longstanding political disputes and lack of foreign investment has led to the underdevelopment of Pakistan. Lack of economic opportunity contributes to widespread poverty. A large portion of the population does not have access to clean water or education.
Of the hundreds of indigenous missionaries bringing the gospel to remote areas where Christ’s name is unknown, many of them have no means of supporting their families and work by faith that the worldwide Body of Christ will support them. Devoting all their time to evangelism, discipleship and church-planting, local missionaries have established fellowships in every major city and numerous towns and villages. Thousands of communities remain unreached, however, and workers request assistance for evangelistic outreaches, distribution of gospel literature and construction of church buildings.
Multiple ministries have undertaken the challenge of meeting the need for trained church leaders. They need support for training programs to equip missionaries to teach Sunday schools, work with teenagers, adults, youth and families, lead women’s groups and plant and pastor congregations. Most of these ministries train about 100 full-time or part-time workers each year; one Bible correspondence school trains 3,000 per year.
Sources: Joshua Project, Wikipedia, CIA World Factbook
How to Pray for
- Pray for provision, courage, and wisdom for local missionaries and church leaders as they share the gospel.
- Pray missionaries, their families and those the are serving will be protected from poverty and disease.
- Pray the spread of the kingdom of God would transform communities into holy beacons of light and love.
More stories from Pakistan
A farmer woke one morning unable to get out of bed or speak. A native Christian worker visited his home and shared how Christ is able to heal. Weeping, the man called on the Lord in his heart. “The Word of God touched me, and I repented of my sins and accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior,” he said, adding that he was later healed after further prayer.
Villagers labor long hours as indentured servants, working off insurmountable debt making kiln-fired bricks. Their children are trapped in the cycle of poverty but receive hope in Christ through Sunday schools that native Christian workers provide in various villages.
A native ministry that has seen lives transformed by its Bible correspondence courses also prints booklets on various culturally relevant topics, such as the role of prophets and the meaning of “the Son of God.” Sent by mail, the booklets are designed to clear up misconceptions that seekers and Pakistanis in general have about Christianity.
A native ministry’s correspondence courses focus on the theme of salvation through Christ and also include studies of biblical books, such as the Psalms, the Gospel of John and 1 Corinthians, among others. A monthly magazine acts as a follow-up tool for teachings on timely subjects and has been helpful for evangelists, Sunday school teachers and pastors.
More than 60 children whose parents lost their jobs due to the pandemic are living in extreme poverty, but native Christian workers are providing them meals twice a week. They are also helping the children catch up on schoolwork that dropped off due to COVID-19 lockdowns.
More than 185 children from poor families who work in brick kilns received education at a school that local Christian workers made available to them. Without education, such children have no way of escaping a future of working off the debts of their parents, who are essentially bonded slaves unable to escape indebtedness.