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Between 2007 and 2012 some 100,000 settlers arrived in Islamabad from Taliban-infested, war-ravaged Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), as well as from Balochistan and Punjab.

This pushed Islamabad’s population to two million, with the growth occurring predominantly in slums. In July, Pakistan’s Capital Development Authority (CDA) launched a demolition campaign. Citing the threat of terrorism, the CDA demolished a mostly Pashtun (Muslim) slum, triggering an outcry. In August, the Supreme Court issued a stay order, stopping the demolitions. Since then the CDA has changed its strategy.

On 4 December the CDA told Pakistan’s Supreme Court, “Most of these slums are under the occupation of the Christian community. It seems this pace of occupation of land by the Christian community may increase. Removal of slums is very urgent to provide a better environment to the citizens of Islamabad and to protect the beauty of Islam.”

Impoverished and persecuted, Christian families migrate to Islamabad in search of work and security.  Some 80,000 Christians live in Islamabad’s Christian slums, comprising 4% of Islamabad’s population. Many of these colonies have existed for 15 to 50 years. As the CDA presents its case for demolition to the Supreme Court, residents of about 30 Christian colonies have been issued with eviction notices. Should the demolitions proceed, these many tens of thousands of poor Christians have nowhere else to go.

Source: Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin

Prayer Points

  • Please pray for the Christians of Islamabad, that the Lord will hear their cries for justice and that He will provide for them.
  • Pray that the Supreme Court will rule justly and wisely and that Muslims will not respond to any incitement to take matters into their own hands.
  • Pray the Lord will use this current uncertainty to strengthen the faith of Christians in Islamabad and bring unity.

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