Prayer Campaign 2015
A PRAYER FOR PAKISTAN
“Heavenly Father, we pray for peace in Pakistan. We pray for peace between the different ethnic and religious groups within the Muslim population of Pakistan. We pray for peace between the Muslim majority and religious minority groups in Pakistan. We pray for peace and justice in the political life of Pakistan. We pray for peace in the region of Kashmir, and between Pakistan and India. We pray for peace for those people whose lives have been shattered by violence in Pakistan. Finally, we pray for the peace that only you can bring to people’s hearts and minds as they discover your immeasurable love for them and your desire for a relationship with them. We pray this prayer in the precious name of Jesus Christ.”
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Matthew 5 : 9
The Peace 2015 campaign is a campaign of prayer for the year 2015. God has placed the nation of Pakistan on my heart this year, to pray for peace in this country. If you feel the same calling please join with me in prayer during 2015.
This is a Hebrew word meaning peace, completeness, prosperity and welfare. It can be used to refer to peace between people and God, between nations, or to the well-being, welfare or safety of an individual or a group of individuals.
A Brief History of Modern Pakistan
The modern state of Pakistan was established on 14 August 1947. In 1948 Pakistan fights its first war with India over the disputed territory of Kashmir. In1956 Pakistan declared itself an Islamic and Parliamentary republic, but the civilian rule came to an end through the 1958 military coup d’etat by Field Marshal Ayub Khan who ruled during a period of internal instability and a second war with India in 1965, again over Kashmir. In 1971, war between the peoples of East and West Pakistan (and a third war with India) ended with East Pakistan becoming the independent nation of Bangladesh.
Civilian rule resumed from 1972 to 1977 under Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. However, Bhutto was deposed by General Zia-ul-Haq, who became the country’s third military president. Military government lasted until 1988, during which Pakistan became one of the fastest-growing economies in South Asia and shariah replaced secular policies, increasing religious influences on the civil service and the military.
Zia died in a plane crash in 1988, and Benazir Bhutto, daughter of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, was elected as the first female Prime Minister of Pakistan. Over the next decade, she alternated power with Nawaz Sharif, as the country’s political and economic situation worsened. The conflict with India at Kargil was followed by a 1999 coup d’état putting General Pervez Musharraf in the Presidential seat.
Musharraf ruled Pakistan until 2008, a period of extensive economic reform and Pakistan’s involvement in the US-led war on terrorism. On 15 November 2007, Pakistan’s National Assembly became the first to complete its full five-year term, and new elections were called. After the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in December 2007, her Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) won the largest number of seats in the 2008 elections, and party member Yousaf Raza Gillani was sworn in as Prime Minister. Musharraf resigned from the presidency on 18 August 2008 when threatened with impeachment, and was succeeded by Asif Ali Zardari (the husband of Benazir Bhutto). Gillani was disqualified from membership of parliament, and as prime minister, by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in June 2012. By its own estimates, Pakistan’s involvement in the war on terrorism has cost up to $67.93 billion, thousands of casualties and nearly 3 million displaced civilians. The Pakistani general election of 2013 saw the Pakistan Muslim League achieve a majority, following which Nawaz Sharif became elected as the Prime Minister of Pakistan, returning to the post for the third time after fourteen years, in a democratic transition. However claims of electoral fraud, nepotism and corruption have dogged his third term.
Estimated population in 2014: over 188 million
Muslims: 181,723,000 Buddhists: 106,989
Christians: 2,700,000 Sikhs: 30,000
Hindus: 1,800,000 Others: Jews, Zoroastrian/Parsis, Baha’i.
(All data comes from Wikipedia)
Recent news stories on the BBC website
22nd September 2013
A twin-suicide bombing outside a church in Peshawar in Pakistan has killed at least 75 people, in one of the worst attacks on Christians in the country. Two bombers blew themselves up as worshipers were coming out of the city’s historic All Saints church after attending Sunday Mass, police say…
24th July 2014
The life of a liberal journalist in Pakistan is not an easy one. Write about someone fighting a blasphemy case, or someone whose faith is considered heresy, and you may very soon find yourself in deep trouble. Shoaib Adil, a 49-year-old magazine editor and publisher in Lahore, has many well-wishers and they all want him to disappear from public life or, even better, leave the country. Since blasphemy charges were filed against him last month, the police have told him that he can’t return home, he can’t even be seen in the city where he grew up and worked all his life. It wouldn’t be safe. As a journalist, Adil has been a vocal critic of religious militarism. But the threat to his life doesn’t come from the Taliban. He is the victim of an everyday witch hunt by Pakistan’s powerful religious groups – the kind of witch hunt that’s so common and yet so scary that it never makes headlines…
8th November 2014
The fertile landscape in Chak 59 of Kasur district in the Punjab province is dotted with hundreds of brick kilns. The factories, owned by powerful landlords, are notorious for thriving on “bonded labour”. Hundreds of thousands of people have remained locked in a cycle of debt and poverty for decades. Rights groups call it a form of modern-day slavery. Until last week, Sajjad Mesih and his wife Shama, a married Christian couple in their 30s, worked at one such brick kiln. For years, they got up at dawn, laboured in harsh conditions through the day and finished up at dusk. That was their routine – every day, seven days a week. It was a life of debt and poverty that they hated. On Tuesday, they were lynched and burnt to death there by a mob on allegations of blasphemy…
17th December 2014
Scores of people, many of them children, were killed in an attack on an army-run school in Peshawar, in north-west Pakistan. Taliban gunmen scaled the walls of the school’s compound on Tuesday morning before going on a shooting spree, killing 141 children and staff, in one of the worst assaults in the country’s recent history…
1st January 2015
Indian forces in Kashmir have killed four Pakistani troops on the border ending a year in which hostilities between the neighbours have escalated. Firing took place on the international border between Samba sector and Pakistan after an Indian soldier was killed in an attack blamed on Pakistan. A ceasefire agreed in 2003 remains in place, but it is often violated…
13th May 2015
At least 45 people have been killed and 13 injured in a gun attack on a bus carrying Ismaili Shia Muslims in the Pakistani city of Karachi, police say. Six gunmen on motorcycles had stopped the bus and fired indiscriminately at passengers. This was the second deadliest attack in Pakistan this year after 62 Shia Muslims were killed in a suicide bombing in January. One commentator writes, “We are not likely to find out for sure who did it because Karachi is in the throes of an armed struggle between the military and a confusing array of political, religious and sectarian militants.”…
Please pray for:
Peace between the different ethnic and religious groups within the Muslim population of Pakistan
Peace between the Muslim majority and religious minority groups in Pakistan
Peace and justice in the political life of Pakistan
Peace in the region of Kashmir, and between Pakistan and India
Peace and well-being for the people in the border territories of Pakistan with Afghanistan
Peace for the people whose lives have been shattered by violence in Pakistan
Dates for your diary
Please put aside some time on each of these days to pray, and if you feel comfortable with doing so, to fast in some way for God’s peace (Shalom) to fall on the nation of Pakistan.