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Persecuted Christian in Pakistan forgives attacker

September 1, 2023 by Abigail Hart in Persecuted Christians in Pakistan

In his anger, the man demanded Pastor Zayn stop service. He used degrading terms against the church like “kanjerkhana,” the equivalent of saying the church was a brothel.

Handling the confrontation with great composure, Pastor Zayn and other leaders of the church attempted to exchange a peaceful dialogue, but to no avail. The discussion only escalated the man’s anger.

He then physically assaulted Pastor Zayn. He also continued making verbal threats and accused the church leaders of dishonoring the Azaan, the Muslim call to prayer.

Pastor Zayn, a persecuted Christian in Pakistan, shares his perspective: “I explained to him that my community deeply respects the timings of the Azaan. However, he remained unyielding, grabbing a cricket bat in his anger. I assured him that we would pause our worship during the Azaan, acknowledging its significance.”

He continues, “Exploiting the Azaan’s timing as a pretext, he assaulted us. This was not the first time he had made harassing comments to our security team during worship.

Verbal attacks against Christians are unfortunately commonplace in our society, and we have learned to endure them as a survival strategy. However, we were unprepared for the escalation from verbal abuse to a violent attack.”

The attacker called in reinforcements and a group of assailants showed up at the congregation with guns. They fired shots in the air which stopped the prayers and ushered in gripping fear.

Violence continued as they aimed their guns at Pastor Zayn, who was already injured and bleeding. Zayn told them, “Shoot me if you must, but I will never cease practicing my religion.”

The ambush continued as they destroyed the church sound system, vandalized sacred items and hurt women, children and many other church members. Unfortunately, the police didn’t arrive early enough to intervene and stop the violence.

As a result of the assault on the pastor, Zayn’s eye was battered and his cornea severely harmed. What took place didn’t simply involve physical damage, but also emotional trauma on him and the other believers involved.

But, even against such adversity, Pastor Zayn says, “Over two decades, I’ve shared the gospel in the world’s harshest corners, and will continue doing so for the rest of my life.”

Help us reach our persecuted family in Pakistan, just like Pastor Zayn.

Pastor Zayn received threats after the violence against his church. “I received threats from different sources, with the attackers warning me against involving the police or the court. They warned me that if I proceeded, the safety of my family would be at stake. Concerns about my well-being and safety arose after the threats.

“However, in our weakest moments, God bestowed courage by revealing His word to me. Sharing these encouragements with my family, we grew stronger and prepared to face persecution. I found solace in the verses of Matthew 24:6: ‘You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet.’”

After the attack, there was a meeting led by various government officials, area elders and clergymen to resolve the issue. The attacker and his brothers all apologized to Pastor Zayn. In response, Zayn hugged the man that inflicted violence upon his congregation and forgave him. He then chose to not press charges.

Zayn is not just a hearer of the Word, but a doer. He recites Mathew 5:44, “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

Pastor Zayn, a persecuted Christian in Pakistan, is now already on the road to recovery with eye surgery and several weeks of treatment. In regards to moving forward, he expresses great resilience: “I’m ready for any challenge. I’ve been through the valley of death and emerged stronger. This Sunday and the coming hundreds of Sundays, I’ll stand before my congregation sharing the message of hope and peace. Revelation 2:10 fuels my courage: ‘Be faithful until death, and I will give you a crown of life.’”

Join us in praying for Pastor Zayn and his congregation.

Father God, we pray for Pastor Zayn and his congregation. What love they have in their hearts for their attackers—what ability to forgive. We are hopeful for the plans You have for their church.

We ask that You would supernaturally continue to heal Pastor Zayn’s cornea, that You will renew his sight and give him his vision back at 100%.

We pray for the safety of Pastor Zayn’s family and congregation. Please protect them from further incidents. Let them continue to seek You as a refuge.

And we pray for the attackers. They experienced Your love from those they were attacking. Turn their hearts towards You. Let them feel Your presence. Let them be overcome with all You have to offer.

In Your name we pray. Amen.

*A representative photo used to preserve security.

About the author
Amanda is a writer for Global Christian Relief and daily shares the stories of the persecuted church with a worldwide audience. Get an overview of Christian persecution on our website and read the latest stories at

Pakistan will be the world’s largest Muslim nation by 2030. Only 1% of the country’s entire population identify as Christian. Persecution is often violent and extreme. Help us reach our brothers and sisters there. Consider making a gift today.

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