Christians in Pakistan
Frank Van Dalen
Christian missionaries have a historical tendency to get killed. When a person goes to another country and challenges the beliefs of that country the locals get violent. If the local government is marked by instability and chaos the situation gets worse. For this reason the Christians of Pakistan are worried. The World Witness program was allowed into the country in 1906 when it was still part of British India. Over the past century the country has gone from stable to unstable to violently changing its government once a decade.
During this time The Christians in general, and the World Witness program in particular, has ministered to the Pakistanis, converted many, and become valuable members of the community. However, Muslim aggression has ballooned throughout the world in the last two decades. In mid 90s Pakistan two prime ministers were removed by coups and in the end General Musharraf came to power. After ten years of desperately trying to hold the country together radical political and religious elements have tried to seize power.
This took a relatively stable situation and turned it into a chaotic one. The assassination of Benazir Bhutto, one of the ousted prime ministers and political agitator, has only made the situation worse. Frank Van Dalen, executive director of World Witness, does not think as highly of Mrs. Bhutto as the western media. However, he claims that her death did not improve the situation.
For the moment the Christians in Pakistan are not being persecuted the way Christians are in most of the Muslim world. Even so, two of the four Pakistani provinces are now controlled by Islamic militants. These men will almost certainly try to force compromises from the government. It is unlikely that these compromises will benefit the Christians of the nation.
Frank Van Dalen
One Cleveland St. Suite 220
Greenville, SC 29601