209 million (2020)
Sharia Law determines the prevailing justice system. The laws related to blasphemy are very difficult for Christians. Believers are often unjustly accused. Particularly children suffer when they are provoked by the children of Muslim families.
The Christian community feels oppressed both by radical groups and by the Islamic culture. Politicians, judges and religious leaders who are sympathetic to Christians are publicly threatened by extremists, especially those orientated towards Wahhabism.
The majority of the population is 25 years old or younger, a third are under 14 years of age. The lack of schooling and a generally low level of education is a major problem in Pakistan. Pakistan ranks 180th out of 221 countries in the global literacy scale (UNESCO statistics).
Contact between Himmelsperlen and the Christian mission “Rescue for Heaven Ministries” in Lahore was established in summer 2016. During the first two visits in December 2016 and September 2017, Margret Meier got to know the founders and employees of the mission and its service in the community. A relationship of trust developed. Through the hospitality of the Christian workers on site and the daily contact during her visits, she was able to assess whether a long-term cooperation would be possible.
She was impressed by the high school founded 15 years earlier and now with 550 students and a very committed Christian teaching staff. The second facility is an orphanage with 35 children who are either full or partial orphans.
Our ministry has developed very rapidly. The simple beginning was on January 10, 2017 with one small room and just a few students. The number of students increased exceptionally quickly. A second building was soon rented and renovated. Old chairs were bought cheaply. School books and basic equipment were acquired and the first two teachers were hired. The school was given the name „School of Grace“.
After just six months, this building was also too small. A larger property was found. The owner was a Christian and happy about the new use of what had been his house. It is conveniently located in the Christian district of Youhanabad.
By the summer of 2018 we already had 200 students. In addition, 11 teachers and three other employees. The school is a bright, colorful building with a large school yard enclosed by a high wall. A security guard is employed as part of the school staff.
It consists of a kindergarten with three groups all in the same building: Play Group, Nursery and Preschool. The main school covers grades 1-10, making it a High School according to the Pakistani education system. The two school buildings are only a few minutes apart.
In August 2019 the second school building was opened for the then, 250 students. By the summer of 2020, the number of school staff had risen to a total of 30 people, 23 teachers, 7 other employees.
Every autumn we organize a children’s camp for all students. This is the highlight of the school year.