By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent BosNewsLife
FAISALABAD, PAKISTAN (BosNewsLife)– A leading Pakistani evangelist says he has been able to massively distribute Bibles in impoverished isolated villages where he claims people are hungry for “God’s Word” despite mounting “persecution” by Islamic militants.
Haseeb Masih of the Save Pakistan Ministries (SPM) group also told BosNewsLife that at least hundreds of villagers responded to his call to “give their heart to Jesus Christ.”
Names of the villages were not immediately released amid security concerns, but SPM is mainly active Punjab, Pakistan’s most populous province.
Masih said that through his group’s ‘Free Bibles Distribution Project’ he gave 55 Urdu Bibles in recent days “to those who were in great need but could not afford it” after already distributing 350 Bibles some two weeks earlier.
They, “have promised to read the Bible everyday to know more about Jesus Christ and are thankful to God that He provides His Word,” Masih said. “It’s always a great blessing for me to hand-out the Word of God to those people who are in great need and struggling to get it.”
He suggested it was a miracle that many people came to his meetings in this volatile region as Pakistan’s Christian community “faces persecution” and Christians are regarded as outcasts by this Asian nation’s heavily Islamic society.
Christians, who comprise less than five percent of Pakistan’s 190 million population, suffer especially in villages and small towns where “Islamic fundamentalists have their strong roots,” according to a SPM statement on the subject.
Unemployed young villagers are among those targeted for Islam’s Jihad, or ‘holy war’, and “brainwashed” with teaching against Christians, SPM investigators said.
“…So they become professional terrorists and play at the hands of the religious and political leaders,” they added.
Despite these tensions, villagers still “have a passion to know more about Jesus Christ. The Lord enabled me to reach-out to those people who are hungry and thirsty about the Word of God,” evangelist Masih explained.
“I was invited to a prayer meeting in a village where we had worship and prayers together. When I explained how we can come to Jesus Christ everybody [watching] responded and accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and gave their heart to Him.”
He stressed, “It was amazing to see that people where praying and worshiping loudly. The presence of God was moving around, something incredible.”
Masih was on his way Friday, November 9, to another relative unreached area in the country and he added that he had urged supporters to “pray for a safe journey and for those people who are desiring” to receive a Bible.
He said, “It’s really a great joy to see people who are passionate about receiving the Word of God. Please keep praying for more Bibles for new believers in Pakistan.”
Besides distributing Christian literature and organizing evangelism rallies, the self supporting SPM says it has launched scores of house churches, a variety of Christian training initiatives as well as providing humanitarian and spiritual aid channels to impoverished Christians and others, including widows and orphans.
“Due to religious discrimination [Christians] face sever menial jobs or low paid situations in the society. That has resulted in slavish condition on brick kilns and for sweepers, scavengers, ordinary laborers
and other people working in low paid jobs,” SPM said.
The group and other rights activists are also concerned about reported violence against believers and churches and the detention of Christians under the country’s internationally criticized blasphemy legislation.
On the web: http://ssimpak.webs.com/apealfordonation.htm