Posts Tagged: Pakistan

Pakistan

Changing Lives Through Literacy!

“And when they give the book to one who cannot read, saying, ‘Read this,’ he says, ‘I cannot read.” Isaiah 29:12 (ESV) The verse above is the key Scripture for the Woman Urdu Literacy program that operates in the bastees (slums) of Islamabad, Pakistan. We introduced you to this program last November, and asked for your financial help in launch the first training, set to begin this past February. Thanks to your generosity, 72 students successfully completed the six-month training in July, and another training will begin in October! The classes teach basic literacy and math, and Biblical literature is…

Bring literacy and the Gospel to Pakistan!

Driven from their impoverished lives in Punjab, hundreds of families live in the “Bastees” (slums), just outside of Islamabad, Pakistan. The government has declared that these shanti-towns are “illegal” and wants to shut them down completely. Some of these dwellers have been there for nearly 30 years. A majority of them are women who are illiterate but trying to provide for their uneducated children. Most of the women cannot even write their own names. A number of the dwellers are Muslim men and women, but many come from a very nominal Christian background. Several are displaced in these slums because…

Islam in Pakistan: Ultra-Conservative Vs. Moderate Muslims

NPR recently shared the story of moderate Pakistani Muslims known as Barelvis who feel they are under attack from more hardline Deobandis Muslims. The Barelvis follow a form of Islam that incorporates folk traditions and mystical Sufi traditions, including praying to saints. The ultra-conservative Deobandis see such incorporation as un-Islamic. Read or listen to the full story here. NPR spoke to sociologist Mushtaq Gadi who noted that “Pakistan’s authorities lean towards the more clear-cut doctrine of Deobandi Islam in order to reinforce Pakistan’s national identity.” “The creation of Pakistan was on the basis of religion,” says Gadi. “So if the state…

Life in Pakistan: Superhero Avenges Wearing Burka

There is a new children’s show in Pakistan, Burka Avenger, featuring Jiya, who is both a schoolteacher and a superhero known as the Burka Avenger. As the superhero, Jiya dons a full-body black cloak complete with face veil to fight an evil magician and corrupt mayor who try to close schools and steal charity funds. While there is support for the cartoon as it speaks to empowered women, camps are divided regarding Jiya’s chosen superhero costume: her burka. Read the full story on The Atlantic here. Critics note that the burka is seen as a symbol of female oppression and…

Ministry Update // Pakistan

100 Pakistan pastors and laypeople attend two seminars in Islamabad and Karachi A Global Initiative trainer recently conducted two Muslim Awareness Seminars, one in Islamabad and one in Karachi. Local pastors arranged both three-day seminars which were attended by over 100 people. In Islamabad pastors from four different cities attended the seminar, with the majority from Peshawar and Rawalpindi. The Global Initiative trainer, Mark, was blessed to see such desire to start ministries to reach Muslims, with many already starting the work. Two pastors shared that they started Jumaa Prayer meetings on Friday to intercede for the lost of their nation. Another…

From Say Hello: Malala Yousafzai, An Inspiration to Jon Stewart

Say Hello: Serving Muslim Women shared this post on its blog last week: Nobel Peace Prize nominee Malala Yousafzai discusses the importance of education in diffusing terrorism and empowering women on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. You can see the full extended interview here: Malala’s courage is inspirational. For her and the many girls like her, their longing for value represents real battles. Pray their journeys would take them to the One who values them the most.

To Consider: The Vision of the “Father of Pakistan”

September 11 is the death anniversary of the “Father of Pakistan,” Mohammed Ali Jinnah. Jinnah did not intend Pakistan to be a religion dominated State; rather his vision for Pakistan’s government was to be secular. Yes, Pakistan was to be primarily a homeland for sub-continent Muslims, but Hindus and Christians, too. If you look at the flag of Pakistan, the white crescent moon and star on a green background represents Muslim peoples, while the white horizontal strip bordering the green attaching the flag to the flagpole represents Hindu and Christian minorities. Jinnah’s desire was for Pakistan to follow the model…

Islam in Pakistan: Sectarian Violence in the Art Scene

Reuters ran a feature story on the contemporary art scene in Pakistan and how the country’s sectarian violence is now “creeping” into the work of young artists. The artists are responding to the Sunni violence against Shi’ites through their art. While political and social change have been subjects of art in Pakistan, curator Zahra Khan says, “Recent turmoil has sparked a new trend, and artists are now looking inward.” Read the full story here. Pakistani art has been on the rise since the 1980s and one artist, Imran Qureshi, was named Deutshce Bank’s “Artist of the Year” for 2013. The story notes…

Islam in Kashmir: Violent Protests Erupt, Plus Tradition Vs. Modernity

Indian authorities eased a curfew in parts of Kashmir, the Himalayan territory divided between India and Pakistan, according to The Washington Post. Violence erupted in several districts of Kashmir and neighborhoods in Srinagar, the region’s main city, after protests “over the surprise execution of a Kashmiri man convicted in a deadly 2001 attack on India’s parliament.” Read the full story here. The story notes that “the protests have stirred fears that the region could be descending into a new round of violence after two years of relative calm.” Pray that the gospel of peace would reach this region of the world….

Islam in Pakistan: Anti-Shi’ite Violence Could Be Big Problem

Time World recently ran a story about Pakistan’s “newest martyrs,” the minority Shi’ite population, looking at the tension between the various communities of Islam in the country. Read the full story here. The closing paragraph sums it up this way: “If, however, Shi‘ites are not going to feel safe in Pakistan, it will have grave consequences not just for the country but also the wider region. Pakistan’s Shi‘ite population is second only to neighboring Iran, where Shi‘ites are the majority and Shi‘ite Islam is embedded in the heart of the country’s politics. In the long term, it could be the most destabilizing of…

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