Photo: Son of Fr. Mushtaq Andrew stands guard outside of tent where his Father is holding a service.
Not far from Lahore, Pakistan is an Anglican Catholic parish of the Diocese of Lahore/Pakistan, Church of India, Pakistan, Burma, and Ceylon. This is the same country where Asia Bibi lives. Christians are not safe in this country, the government has proven repeatedly that it cannot protect the Christian minority from attacks from violent Muslims, murderous attacks.
Fr. Mushtaq Andrew is the archdeacon of this tiny diocese and leads a small flock of Christians. This group of Christians also provide medical and social services to the poor. Now they feel so threatened that Father has posted his own son to guard the tent where the parish holds religious services lest they be attacked while at prayer. His son is in effect a one man Christian militia. This is a situation that elicits both admiration and horror at the same time. Admiration for one so young and all alone to bravely stand watch so that his earthly father might preach the gospel of the heavenly Father, and horror at the prospect that the daunting odds against this young Christian might get him killed.
The events of the past few weeks in Iraq, Egypt and Pakistan reveal a new tactic on the part of al-Qaeda that calls for direct attacks on native Christian populations in Islamic dominated lands. In Iraq and Egypt there is no Christian militia to defend the faithful from these attacks. The national governments seem incapable of defending Christian homes and churches from attacks, in fact often the government is aiding in covering up for the attackers and even on occasion arresting Christians who call the police for protection.
With a sister parish of my own church under threat, the horror of what is transpiring in these countries is made real to me in a way that others perhaps cannot comprehend. We need to pray earnestly for Christians in all of these countries and we need to support them financially so that they can create a more secure environment for their families. They need a building to worship in. In a tent they are most vulnerable. If you want to help them build a church please contact me and I will tell you how you can help.