The eight young Christians chatted excitedly in the back of their van as they headed toward far western Pakistan, near the border with Afghanistan. They had just completed a three-month discipleship course and were setting out on their first ministry trip. Then, on Dec. 24, 2017, their van had a flat tire near a local market.
Knowing that people who lived in the area were Muslims and that many struggled with drug abuse, they distributed leaflets about Jesus Christ while their tire was being repaired. As a group of men gathered around a believer named Haroon, he eagerly told them about Christ’s love for them and encouraged them to place their faith in Him. Several people stepped forward to receive literature, but then one of the other Christians, Atish, noticed several men pushing their way through the crowd toward them.
“Come with us now!” the men demanded. They were members of the secret police.
After ransacking the van, the authorities put five of the eight Christians (all of the men) into a car and drove them to a local police station. The rest of the group, three Christian women, followed in another vehicle.
Police took all of the Christians’ belongings — their bags, computers, Bibles and SD cards. Scared and shocked, the young Christians began to pray. This was the first time they had experienced such opposition for their faith.