Home Voices The Exchange An Inconceivable Challenge: The Story of a Persecuted Pastor in Pakistan

An Inconceivable Challenge: The Story of a Persecuted Pastor in Pakistan

Despite this mistreatment, he told his persecutors that as a follower of Christ, he forgives them. He pondered on the words of Jesus recorded in Matthew 5:43-45, which tells Christ’s followers to pray for their persecutors.

On Sept. 30, Pastor Sidhu appeared in court. The judicial magistrate bailed the pastor in one case, and on October 4 he was granted bail in both cases. Although Pastor Sidhu was the complainant in both cases, he was treated as the accused.

It seems that those in higher positions have been unaware about the horrifying involvement of some of the policemen in this case. At the same time, it shows the influence of extremist groups and that they do not care about orders issued by the courts.

Additionally, a local leader from the Christian community has allegedly been involved in the persecution of Pastor Sidhu. Pastor Sidhu and his family believe this leader is responsible for aiding the attacks, coercing Pastor Sidhu and his family to make false confessions, and pressuring them to accept responsibility for the writing of religious slogans on the church wall, in exchange for Pastor Sidhu’s release. It is evident that persecution does not always come from individuals outside the community, but can come from the inside as well.

On this International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, which is on Nov. 5, let us remember our brothers and sisters who suffer for their faith in Christ every day. Pastor Sidhu and his family have experienced immeasurable physical, mental, and emotional challenges this last month. Their struggles have not yet ended, as investigations have not yet been conducted for either of Pastor Sidhu’s legal cases against his attackers.

As he is brought before the courts to defend his case, Pastor Sidhu can turn to Luke 12 for hope and reflection. At the same time, he is comforted by the truth that the Holy Spirit will guide his speech.

We can be praying for God to grant strength to Pastor Sidhu, for the judiciary to recognize the mistreatment he has experienced, and for the availability of good attorneys to represent him. Also, for Pastor Sidhu to have access to the medications he needs, for his protection, for his congregation, for fellow believers as they bring words of encouragement to Pastor Sidhu and his family, and for justice to prevail.

Pastor Sidhu is committed to spreading the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ. Although he is still at risk of further persecution, he continues to trust in God’s faithfulness and clings to hope in Christ. Pastor Sidhu’s situation exemplifies the cost of discipleship (Luke 9:23). He and his family understand this cost and are willing to pay the price. They identify with the words of Paul: to suffer the loss of all things for His sake (Philippians 3:8).

Pastor Sidhu’s experience shows how following Christ in a hostile context can bring inconceivable challenges for believers. In such hostility, the words of the Psalmist are comforting and inspiring, that “many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all” (English Standard Version, Psalm 34:19).