|% Urban:||37.4 %|
|Population Under 15 Yrs:||35.1 %|
|Official Language:||English is the official government language, Urdu is the national language and becoming widely understood by most Pakistanis|
|Literacy Rate:||58 %|
|Life Expectancy:||66.1 yrs (183/236)|
|HDI Ranking:||154 / 189|
|% Christian:||2.5 %|
|% Evangelical:||0.6 %|
|% Largest Religion:||95.8 %|
|Least Reached People Groups:||504|
|% Unevangelized:||53 %|
|Persecution Ranking:||7 / 50|
Pakistan’s government normally alternates between inefficient, corrupt political parties and authoritarian military dictatorships. Power and wealth are concentrated in too few hands. This hinders economic and social development. The country faces pressure from Islamist forces (in the west, Afghanistan, the Punjab), and from troubles with India over the Kashmir region. Pray that the Lord would free Pakistan from spirits of lawlessness and violence that harm the nation. Pray for government that will move the nation forward.
Fundamentalist Islam (driven by the Taliban) impacts the whole nation, even though only a minority support it. It causes violence against religious minorities. Social and economic progress is difficult for non-Muslims (and non-Sunni Muslims). Women who live under fundamentalist Muslim values have very few freedoms or rights. Education is minimal, and domestic abuse is widespread. Pray that the true nature of this type of Islam might become clear for all to see, so that it might lose its power.
Religious minorities face discrimination and persecution in many forms. Christians, Hindus, and minority Muslim groups (Shi’a, Ahmaddiya) suffer the most. The famous “blasphemy law” allows the death penalty on anyone who insults Mohammed, and life in prison for anyone who damages a Quran. Extremists use this law to falsely accuse innocent people. They stir up religious frenzy so the crowd enforces the punishment. Enemies of Christ vandalize or destroy churches. They beat, murder, abduct, rape, or force conversion on Christians and other minorities. Even amidst such persecution, Pakistani Christians love their nation and want it to prosper. Pray that believers might always be ready to share about Jesus, and to repay violence with love.
The Church continues to grow, despite many obstacles. Poverty, illiteracy, and lack of teaching opened the door to corruption, immorality, and low spiritual standards among Christians. Some Christians live devoted lives, committed to God, but the majority have a weak, immature faith. Common problems in churches include leadership struggles, greed, court cases, substance abuse, and divisions. Ask God to raise up humble, committed spiritual leaders with passion to serve the Church. Pray for more students in Bible and leadership training, wise and godly leaders, and adequate financial resources for Christian work.
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Content taken or adapted from Operation World, 7th Edition (2010) and Pray for the World (2015). Both books are published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.