Inspired by words from the Bible, young Christian men in Pakistan have formed a group to defend their churches, after Christian congregations recently became the targets of terrorist attacks in the predominantly Muslim country.
Sixteen Christians from different walks of life—bankers, musicians, civil society workers, teachers and computer technicians—banded together with a commitment to protect their places of worship.
They took inspiration from these words from Luke 11:21: ""When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe."
At first, the group started protecting the Shalom Presbyterian Church in Bahar Colony, Lahore, the cultural capital and one of the most densely populated areas of the country.
Since then, the young Christian men have expanded their mission, now providing protection and security to at least six more churches in nearby areas.
In Pakistan, only 2 percent of the population are Christians. They have been victims of terrorist attacks, like the bombing outside a Peshawar church in 2013.
Waqar Peter Gill, the team's spokesman, said the group wants to help protect more churches in the future.
"We are more blessed and strengthened in God day by day and we are looking forward to reach more and more churches in Lahore and other parts of the country, irrespective of the denomination," Gill said.
To be able to do this, Gill encouraged young Christians in Pakistan like them to join their team.
"For youth I want to say you are the backbone of the Church and society without you and your support we can't move on and pass the torch of salvation, love, peace and happiness to future generations," Gill said.
"Please join Church Youth, Church Security and many other services offered under the umbrella of Church. Our previous generations are history. We all are present but you guys are the future of Church and Christianity. You guys are the future Ambassadors of Christ," he added.