Editor's note: This article is contributed by Rab Nawaz, Secretary of Development & Relief Sector of the Diocese of Peshawar, Church of Pakistan. He shares the vulnerability of the local Christian community that the majority of Christians there who access limited resources need more employment and education opportunities to survive. The church asks for partnerships to share in their sufferings.
The Christian community of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan is very vulnerable and marginalized. The majority of them are engaged in janitorial work because without it they can’t afford to cover their basic needs i.e. only food and clothes. They also face clean water problems which cause water-borne diseases. Adult, women and mostly children are affected by these water-borne diseases. The majority of Christians are living in rented houses and to make ends meet they need part-time jobs. Their children are left alone at home so they indulge themselves in immoral practices and drugs culture etc. Men and women within the Christian community face discriminative treatment in the Government and Semi-Government Institutions when they apply for admission in the aforementioned courses. Although a fixed quota for the minorities exists on paper, practically it is almost non-existent. Therefore, the Development & Relief Sector has decided to take on this responsibility for the uplifting of its community.
In the present scenario, the current situation with regards to seeking jobs within the Government as well as in the private sector is in dire straits. Moreover, due to daily increases in the price of fuel and goods. The marginalized Christian community is struggling to survive, so employed people need part-time jobs, and those who are unemployed need to have their own business of some kind. In particular, educated men are depressed when they fail to find employment or when they aren’t able to continue their education due to a lack of resources as well as facing discrimination in the minority quota. This often leads to drugs and other immoral practices.
The church, with its limited resources, not only provides for their spiritual needs but also helps them by providing free education and free health care. But due to inflation, they can't afford books or uniform expenses.
The Christian community of KPK needs projects to serve and uplift the community around them, and we are looking forward to bringing partners on board who can help us to achieve this.