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Attacks on Christian Life and Property in Pakistan

Have you ever taken the time to sit down and contemplate the deafening silence of Western governments and media in the face of continuing persecution of Christians in Pakistan? Consider the following e-mail excerpts,1 written by a Pakistani Christian and distributed on July 31:

I am writing these words very late at night. It is 2 a.m., and I am watching the live coverage of 45-50 Christian homes burning in the village of Korian, some 18 miles from Faisalabad. It is being reported on the Express News TV that 25 Christian homes with all their belongings are completely destroyed while another 20-25 are partially burned. It is stated that a mob of armed Muslim men attacked the village of Korian and set the houses on fire. Even the animals belonging to Christians have roasted in the fire. There are reports of injuries and deaths but no casualty details are available yet. Persecution of the Christian community is growing by the day in Pakistan. On July 5, 117 Christian families were attacked in the village of Bahamaniwala. Their houses were also destroyed, and belongings were looted while women and children trying to escape were attacked with acid. The situation is grave in Korian. The Christian community has lost everything. They are desperate for help. As usual, the police and authorities have not acted in time. Please pray for the people in Korian… They need shelter, food, clothing, and everything needed for living.

How much attention will this report receive in the pages of the New York Times, the Washington Post, the London Guardian and the Times? Will it be featured by CNN, the BBC World Service, or the French TV5Monde? If the story is reported by these media outlets, will it merely receive a fleeting mention as they hurry on to more newsworthy items?2

The reasons for the lack of interest among Western media outlets—and governments—in such continuing persecution of Christians in Pakistan (and Egypt, and the Sudan, and parts of Indonesia, and so forth) are several. First, such Christian communities are in a faraway place, beyond the daily reality of most of the readers or viewers, who are of utmost concern to the Western media—and politicians. Second, gone are the days when Westerners automatically identified with distant Christians as their brothers in faith, while Muslims around the world are brought up to consider their fellow believers in other countries as part of their community. Third, and with reference to both Western governments and populations, it is awkward to acknowledge publicly that Christians are being persecuted by Muslims. Stories about Islamophobia—unreasoned hostility towards Muslims—are far more comfortable discussion points than Westophobia—unreasoned hostility towards the West—or Christophobia—unreasoned hostility towards Christians (especially by Muslims). Such is the fruit of a suffocating blanket of cultural relativism that says, “Who are we to judge? That’s their culture. Christians are upsetting it.”

None of the above should dissuade Christians in the West from taking up the cause of their persecuted Pakistani brothers and giving it the ongoing attention that is unlikely to come from Western media and governments. This might take the form of letters to newspapers or politicians, or simply sharing news of these unfortunate events with friends and neighbors. It might also take the form of offering moral and financial support to Pakistani Christians via human rights agencies that are speaking on behalf of the persecuted.3


The English grammar and style has been edited for improved understanding without any changes being made to the content of the message.


This is indeed what happened. See the following relevant reports: “6 Christians Killed in Riots in Pakistan,” New York Times Website, August 1, 2009, (accessed August 4, 2009); Ben Quinn, “Six Christians Burned Alive in Pakistan Riots,” The Guardian Website, August 2, 2009, (accessed August 4, 2009); “Pakistan: Police Patrol Streets after Christians Murdered,” CNN Website, August 2, 2009, (accessed August 4, 2009); “Pakistan Christians Die in Unrest,” BBC News Website, August 2, 2009, (accessed August 4, 2009).


For example, Barnabas Fund, Compass Direct, Christian Solidarity Worldwide, or non-confessional agencies such as Human Rights Watch.