Yaqoob Bashir, a 25-year-old mentally disabled Christian in Pakistan was sentenced to life in prison by the Session and District Court of Mirpurkhas on September 28, according to persecution.org, the official website for the Voice of the Martyrs, for allegedly committing blasphemy against Islam. He was sentenced for using derogatory language against Muhammad, whom Muslims consider a prophet, after being found innocent of desecrating the Quran. He had reportedly received treatment at a mental health facility in Hyderabad before being accused of blasphemy.
As Trinity Baptist Church is in the middle of its annual Mission Conference, from October 28-30, and as the world approaches the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, this Sunday, November 2, the persecution believers, including missionaries, endure in other countries is one more reason to support missions with money and prayer. The persecution in those countries does not make the souls of the people who live there any less precious to the Savior Who died for them than those who live in
America, or other countries with more freedom.
Names of missionaries Trinity supports on dangerous fields will not be mentioned in this article to protect their identity. The church, however, supports missionaries who minister in Hindu countries, including one country where believers are under tremendous persecution, Muslim countries, including in an area near ISIS, and may in the future support a missionary who never knows when the secret police will show up at a service.
A video, which can be viewed online or ordered from the Voice of the Martyrs mentions that in Pakistan some Christians are beaten, imprisoned, and killed for their faith.
“Under Islam, rural Christians are second class citizens, forced to serve Muslims in humility,” according to the film.
Pastor Fassal serves these believers.
“Though we have committed no crime, we are ostracized, and banished to the lowest place in society,” Pastor Fassal explained. “Often we are forced to leave our villages and our own homes. We cannot get good jobs, and we have no voice in government. What is left for us is servitude, and we know we will never advance.
“But we have a church,” he added. “A place where Christians come together to worship the Lord Jesus Christ, to sing his praise, to study His Word. For awhile our country has turned its back on us. God has not. Sometimes it is not easy–the laws, the injustice, so please remember to pray for us.”
The video shows Christians working as trash collectors, brick makers, sewage cleaners, and house servants. The man working as a sewage cleaner had to climb down into the sewage and use a bucket to hand to clean the sewage out, by handing it to someone else to dispose of.
This year, as you pray as to how God would have you to be involved in missions by giving and other ways, and asking how much to give, remember to also pray for the persecuted church this Sunday, November 2.