Christians in One of Pakistan’s Most Dangerous Regions Enjoy Religious Freedom

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ICC Note:

Christians in Pakistan continue to face one of the worst persecution situations on the planet. But in Pakistan South Waziristan Agency, where government forces are battling the Taliban and other terrorist networks, Christians enjoy a surprising amount of religious freedom. In Wana, the headquarters of the South Waziristan Agency, Christians are able to openly practice their faith and peacefully interact with the Muslim population. Wouldn’t it be nice is more of Pakistan looked like this?

1/8/2016 Pakistan (Pakistan Today) – While Pakistani Christians are burdened with the status of being the most at risk community in Pakistan, they enjoy a surprising amount of liberty in the embattled South Waziristan Agency (SWA), Pakistan Today has learnt.

There is a solitary church in the heart of Wana, headquarter of South Waziristan Agency, where members of the small Christian community regularly offer their Sunday prayers, despite the precarious security situation. This has been the case since the last decade. There are over 1,000 Christians are living in Wana.

The foundation stone of the church was laid by Absar Ahmed Minhas, former colonel of the South Waziristan Scouts. This had been a long-standing demand from Christians living within the military compound.

Pervez Masih, a retired commander from the ‘Militia Force’ residing in South Waziristan, told Pakistan Today that they are peace-loving people and the local tribes have treated them with great respect.

“The locals have a good behavior towards us and we have never faced any problem here despite the fragile security situation in the area,” he said.

Pervez said that they enjoyed complete religious freedom and even shared moments of happiness and sorrow with Muslims, as they neither faced any problem from the military nor from the Taliban.

“Christians are facing numerous problems elsewhere in the country, but we are enjoying extreme liberty and cordial relations with our Muslim brothers,” he said with great satisfaction.

Another senior member of his community said that the Christian community in Wana might be safer than local tribal people, as both the tribesmen and the Taliban are their guardians.

A senior journalist from South Waziristan, Zulfiqar Ali, said that undoubtedly people from the Christian community, who have been living in the area since before the inception of Pakistan, are enjoying complete freedom.

Pray for religious freedom in Pakistan

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