PAKISTAN – CHRISTIANS FORCED TO PAY “NON-MUSLIM” TAX

Barnabas Fund. In June, there were at least three reports of Islamic militants in Pakistan demanding money from non-Muslims in payment of the jizya tax. According to sharia, this tax is to be imposed on Christians and Jews living in an Islamic state and must be paid as a sign of their submission and lowly status. In various parts of the Khyber Agency, North West Frontier Province (NWFP), the militant Islamic group Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) has imposed the jizya tax on Christians, Sikhs and Hindus. Women, children and the disabled are exempt, but men must pay 1,000 rupees a year (£7.60; US$12.50; €8.80) or leave the area. In the Battagram District of NWFP, someone claiming to be from the Taliban telephoned a Hindu leader, demanding payment of six million rupees in jizya from the Hindu community in that area. Meanwhile, in Lahore, a letter, addressed to a local Christian organisation, was handed to a Christian woman by two masked men. The letter said, “We know you are Christian. We warn you to leave this area, embrace Islam, pay 1,500,000 rupees (£1,235; US$18,500; €13,995) as jizya or be ready to die in a suicide attack.” • Pray that the militant groups will relent in trying to enforce the tax and that, in the meantime, the Lord Jesus will protect his people. • Pray that the Pakistani authorities will find a way to deal with this alarming development, even in places where Islamic militants are in control.

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