Day 7: Entering rooms in the House of Islam — Pakistan
By Gary Fallesen
, founding president, Climbing For Christ
Our Pakistani brother in Christ started Ramadan with a prayer request: “As you know, we are working to reach the lost souls with the Word of God. He chose us to serve Him. Praise the LORD, me and my whole family are serving the LORD. We are serving the LORD since 2008. We are reaching many people with the Word of God and preaching to them. Praise the LORD (that) every day many have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.
“(But) every day we are facing many challenges and bear persecution.”
In 2014, his “beautiful sister” (photo) was abducted on her way to college. She was kidnapped and forced to marry a Muslim. She has not been seen since.
“Many Christian brothers and sisters are facing persecution,” he said, continuing his prayer request. “Every day many believers lose their lives because they are Christian. I request to C4C members, please keep in your prayers the Pakistani persecuted Christians - that the LORD would protect His people.”
“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” — 2 Timothy 3:12 (KJV)
There a wind blowing in the House of Islam (Dar al-Islam
in Arabic), which is the name Muslims call their religious empire. This House is comprised of 1.6 billion souls – nearly one-quarter of the world’s population – living in 49 nations stretching from West Africa to Indonesia.
David Garrison, author of the exceptional book A Wind in the House of Islam: How God is drawing Muslims around the world to faith in Jesus Christ
, has divided the House into Nine Rooms. These Rooms are distinct geo-cultural clusters: West Africa, North Africa, East Africa, the Arab World, the Persian World, Turkestan, Western South Asia, Eastern South Asia, and Indo-Malaysia.
Climbing For Christ is ministering in eight nations in six of these Rooms:
Today we’ll focus on Pakistan, where 98.9 percent of the country’s nearly 192 million people follow Islam. Only 0.7 percent of the population is Christian, according to the Joshua Project. Three-hundred eighty-three of the 393 people groups in Pakistan are unreached.
- Nigeria in West Africa
- Morocco in North Africa
- Tanzania and Malawi in East Africa
- Turkey in Turkestan
- Pakistan in Western South Asia
- Indonesia and the Philippines in Indo-Malaysia
Pakistan literally means “Land of the Pure,” a name given in 1933 by independence activist Choudary Ali. Pakistan is “an acronym representing the five major ethnic groups of the country: P
for Punjabi, A
for Afghani (Pushtun), K
for Kashmiri, S
for Sindhi, and the final -stan
for Baluchistan. Curiously missing from Choudary Ali’s acronym was the East Pakistan Begali peoples, whose ethnic omission eventually contributed to the Bangladesh War of Independence in 1971.
“East and West Pakistan were wrenched out of British India at midnight on Aug. 15, 1947, as havens for Muslims from India’s Hindu majorities,” Garrison wrote. “Within days, half a million unfortunate Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs lost their lives simply for being on the wrong side of the British line of demarcation. The great fertile plain of the Punjab was particularly hard hit with as many as seven million Hindus and Sikhs fleeing to safety in the East, and a similar number of Muslims scrambling to the West. Today, the Punjab remains divided, with lingering memories of hurt and hate. Since partition, more than 60 years ago, Pakistan has maintained a continual state of readiness for war with its massive Indian neighbor to the east.
“Since the birth of the two South Asian states in 1947, India and Pakistan have fought openly for the northern border state of Kashmir. With wars in 1947, 1965 and 1999, this region remains the subcontinent’s most volatile flashpoint for what many fear may be the first nuclear war of the 21st century. Today, generations of ordinary citizens in Western South Asia [an area comprised of Afghanistan, Pakistan and the western states of India] continue to be plagued by levels of violence that undermine efforts for peace and stability in the region. Yet it is in this cauldron of conflict that God’s Spirit is breaking into the lives of men and women and offering a different path forward.”
Missionaries were expelled in 1947, shortly after independence, but “150 years of Christian missions made important strides toward sowing the gospel within Western South Asia. Like the leaven in the lump, the Gospel’s influence expanded, almost invisibly, but pervasively.”
“He told them another parable. ‘The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.’” – Matthew 13:33
One Pakistani C4C member tells about being born into the family of Christ, probably the result of earlier missionary service by foreigners who “all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth”
“I was born in a Christian family and my elders were missionaries and after them my father and mother took their mission to spread the Gospel in Pakistan,” the member said. “They prepared me, too, for Gospel mission (work) in Pakistan and I started the ministry (of Save Pakistan) to proclaim the Gospel and started international ministry by the direction of God.”
Garrison writes in A Wind in the House of Islam
, “Though 21st century Western South Asia now has its own indigenous Christian population, most of these Christians are from non-Muslim backgrounds. It remains to be seen whether or not they will carry forward the mandate of the Great Commission to the masses of Muslims who dominate this region … one of the greatest concentrations of non-Christians on earth.”
Climbing For Christ has had 15 members from Pakistan over the years. One member disappeared in 2009. That member was a pastor, who baptized 30 new believers publicly in a city canal in October 2008. “People were sinking in the valley of desperation and (being) illiterate,” he said at the time. “They were living just for themselves, not for God. Just sleeping, eating, and working. But when I share the Word of God the Holy Spirit move on them with His heavy authority and break them of out the bondage of the Satan’s works.”
A Climbing For Christ pastor, whose face was blurred to protect his identity, praying with new believers in 2008.
Pakistan is ranked as the sixth-worst nation in which to be a Christian on the Open Doors 2016 World Watch List (up from No. 8 in 2015). Only North Korea, Iraq, Eritrea, Afghanistan and Syria are considered worse.
CLICK HERE to watch the C4C Pakistan Prayer video and read Project Prayer: Pakistan.