Pak-Christian missions predict expansion of Taliban rule

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Lahore, Apr. 21 (ANI): Pakistan based Christian missionaries have predicted that the Taliban takeover of Swat will extend to more parts of the country, which will further worsen the conditions for Christians.

"This is bad, as it is, and will only worsen if sharia law spreads further than the Swat Valley. As these militants have gained standing, they have gained clout within the country that also promises more pressure against the church," the Daily Times quoted Todd Nettleton of Voice of the Martyrs, as saying.

Nettleton added that the Taliban seem to have taken encouragement from their success in Swat and now have a foothold from which they could expand into other parts of Pakistan.

The Christian missionaries are even more worried about the Taliban suggestion that sharia law gives them the right to fight against any government that shows anti-Muslim sentiments.

The Christian community in particular has been harmed due to lack of government writ in Swat.

"We have had Christian workers in that area who have been kidnapped, they have been badly mistreated, and they have been beaten because of their Christian witness. Some have been killed, simply because they were known to be Christians and known to be involved in outreach to Muslims," Nettleton said.

Nettleton also advised people to pray for those doing ministry in the area, as they now have to work more secretly and quietly for fear of persecution. (ANI)

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