For the first time in the history of Pakistan, the Human Rights Minister has put on a special train service to the Christians of the country. The train service, dubbed the Christmas train, will be launched today, December 22.
Talking to Daily Times, the Minister said that the Christian community was an equal partner in the struggle for ensuring sustained development, stability, security and solidarity of Pakistan. He said the reason for the ‘Christmas train’ is to highlight the role of Christians in the history of the country, something that is often left out of any normal history lessons.
Pakistan’s Railway Minister and the Human Rights Minister will inaugurate the special train on December 22nd, at Margalla Railway Station, Islamabad. They are hoping that a large number of diplomats, media and members of civil society will participate in the project. The two ministers will bear the expenses of the train service.
The Human Rights Minister has urged the Christian community, as well as other citizens, to reaffirm their commitment to continued efforts to strengthen the socio-economic ties and feeling of nationhood in Pakistan. He added that this would help all citizens to work for the collective well-being of the nation, and ensure a secure and prosperous future for all.
Even though the constitution of Pakistan grants non-Muslims the freedom to observe their religious practices, Christians face intense persecution, with false accusations of blasphemy, forced conversions to Islam and significant discrimination being just some of the trials that they face.
- Give thanks for this “Christmas Train”, and for the government ministers who have launched it. Pray that it will achieve what is hoped, in bringing greater understanding to the role and importance of Christians in the country.
- Pray for the Government to enforce the freedom of belief for all people in Pakistan, especially in the face of growing fundamentalist Islam.
- Pray for protection and endurance for Pakistan’s Christians. Pray for their encouragement with this train, and for freedom to celebrate Christmas together without fear.
- Pray for a move of the Holy Spirit over this nation, for many to come to know Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord.
John 1 vs 4 – 5: “in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.“