Population: 176.8 million (2011)
Official language: Urdu, English
Major religion: Islam
IFES movement: Pakistan Fellowship of Evangelical Students (PFES)
Pakistan is a country that spans from mountains and a border with China in the north to the Arabian Sea in the south. Muslims make up around 97% of the population; Christians around 2%. On the surface, Christians are free to practice their religion and supposedly have equal opportunities in society. However in some places they face discrimination and threats from Muslim fundamentalists.
- 150 state tertiary institutions and many private institutions
- 95 groups with 1700 students from almost every university
- 13 full-time staff, 3 associate staff
- pioneering graduate ministry
- largest group in Lahore: 23 bible study groups
- smallest group in Jhelum: 4 bible study groups with 34 students
PFES is not allowed to form groups on campuses so their students meet in homes and churches for weekly bible study. They are grateful to God for the provision of a new student centre after receiving one month’s notice to leave the office where they had been serving for over 35 years.
Over the years PFES has made a rich contribution in providing leadership to the wider church and community in Pakistan. They are delighted to see student leaders emerging today who are strong in faith and willing to take initiative. However many PFES students are struggling with rising education costs and prayer is needed so that they will continue to be able to attend university.
View from the inside
Philip Chandi is the General Secretary of PFES. He says, ‘Serving in student ministry is like investing in the next generation and strengthening the future church. The open response of the students excites me in this ministry.’
Philip is inspired by 2 Timothy 2:2-4: ‘And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.’
- for more resources to support the expanding ministry;
- for protection for students faced with Islamic fundamentalism on their campuses;
- for PFES students to be light and salt on their campuses despite the lack of direct access.