Christians in Pakistan Endangered Over Cartoon Crisis

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Religious tensions escalate from Danish depictions of Mohammed.

The recent furor over cartoons published by a Danish newspaper is showing no signs of abatement in various regions of the Islamic world. In Muslim dominated Pakistan, violent rioting, looting and arson attacks have created additional safety concerns for minority Christians residing in the country.

These events are posing challenges for an international mission organization with ongoing projects within Pakistan. Strategic World Impact (SWI) has recently celebrated the inauguration of a Christian school in the area. In recent months, the school has been vandalized and is now receiving fresh threats as a result of the crisis.

Kevin Turner, president and founder of SWI said, "We are providing a quality education to both Muslims and Christians and many of these children attend for free. It’s a shame that we’ve had to endure attacks of vandalism and threats of life to provide something that is so desperately needed in Pakistan."

Additionally, the rioting and protests have hit close to home for the organization. Last week, a Christian relative of SWI’s Pakistan Field Coordinator was among those killed by Muslims during a protest.

The ongoing situation compounds the risk for Christians because Muslims often view Western culture and Christianity as synonymous. Many already face discrimination and persecution.

"In Pakistan, it takes the testimony of two Christians to be equal to the testimony of one Muslim in a court of law. Often, women are attacked and raped by Muslim men and when it’s reported to the authorities, the women are arrested for adultery," said Turner.

In addition to their school, Strategic World Impact is also providing earthquake relief in Northern Pakistan. Prayer and support are needed for the safe continuation of these projects. For more information, visit http://www.swi.org or call 918-336-8400. Kevin Turner is available for interviews.

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Jessica Miller
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