“M” (I can’t use his real name) stands dwarfed by this monolithic structure in Islamabad, the largest Mosque in Pakistan. Only 1.6% of the 170 million people living in Pakistan are Christians. As an Islamic-ruled state, discriminating laws against religious minorities are often used to persecute Christians and others. Frequently, the Pakistani government fails to provide basic human rights or protection from militant Muslims.
Growing up, “M” says his father’s encouragement inspired him to do well in school. His father was the head of a sanitation department whose faith, hard work, and support helped his five children pursue an education. “M,” the eldest, became a teacher, despite discriminatory setbacks that Christian students often face. He recalls a time in high school when a Muslim student pushed him, smashing his face into a water spigot, yelling at him for drinking from a water fountain for Muslims. “M” is now principal of a school that accepts Christian and Muslim students. He offers scholarships to poor children, regardless of religion.
If you would like to help persecuted Christians in Pakistan by supporting this school, please go to www.swi.org for more information.
(Canon 5D2, 16-35mm @16mm, 1/200 sec, f8, ISO 100)
Article ©Vivian Padilla-Chapman
Photo ©Copyright Gary S. Chapman 2009