Pakistan became a country on August 14th, 1947, to form the largest Muslim state in the world at that time. The creation of Pakistan was catalyst to the largest demographic movement in recorded history. Nearly seventeen million people-Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs-are reported to have moved in both directions between India and the two wings of Pakistan (the eastern wing is now Bangladesh). Sixty million of the ninety-five million Muslims on the Indian subcontinent became citizens of Pakistan at the time of its creation. Subsequently, thirty-five million Muslims remained inside India making it the largest Muslim minority in a non-Muslim state. This explosive population of muslim majority has posed a great threat to Christian growth and freedom of (Christian) religion in Pakistan. Over the years Hindu-muslims have brutally attacked, maimed and in some cases killed Pakistani Christians. These incessant attacks on the Christian minority have fallen on deaf ears and unwilling hands of the law, as the Indian police have been known to support and encourage these attacks in most cases. Even though these cases are reported most times.
According to Bishop Samson Shukardin of Hyderabad, Pakistan, religious minorities are giving their children Islamic names to help them avoid persecution and abuse. This practice is especially being done to help minority children avoid targeted abuse in the country’s public school system.
“Many minorities give their children Islamic names, so they will not be singled out as Christians and become targets for discrimination in primary or secondary schools or at the college level,” Bishop Shukardin told Aid to the Church in Need. “In many cases, minority students do suffer abuse in public schools.”
Across Pakistan, Christians face widespread discrimination and instances of outright persecution. False blasphemy accusations, mob violence, abductions, and rape only name a few of the abuses Pakistani Christians are forced to endure because of the faith. For many, to be a Christian in Pakistan is to be treated as a second class citizen. Or worst as an outcast.
According to the Open Doors World Watch List, Pakistan is ranked the 5th most dangerous country in the world for Christians.