Pakistan drawn into Yemen conflict

(Photo, courtesy FMI)

(Photo courtesy FMI)

Pakistan (MNN) — The Shiite/Sunni battle in Yemen is drawing Pakistan in, and the implications are scary.

Bruce Allen of Forgotten Missionaries International says, “Iran is supporting these rebels who have been trying to oust the Yemen president…and Saudi Arabia’s coming to Yemen’s defense. So essentially it ends up being a battle between Saudi Arabia and Iran using Yemen as its turf.”

Pakistan caught in the middle

Pakistan has certain alliances with Saudi Arabia. For one, Allen explains, they have pledged to help Saudi Arabia keep its border integrity. Saudi Arabia is one of Pakistan’s main financial supports and also their source of oil.

However, who do you want to please most: your ally, or your neighbor? This is the problem.

“Pakistan shares a nearly 600 mile border with Iran. They don’t want to aggravate this neighbor,” Allen says. “Pakistan is in a tough spot.”

Pakistan’s Minister of Defense says they need to do what they can to find a peaceful solution to the conflict. According to Reuters and several other sources, Pakistan is trying to decide just how involved they will be while maintaining their support of Saudi Arabia.

What they decide to do could be critical to what happens with Pakistan itself.

Instability abroad and right at home

“They’re getting involved in broader regional conflicts at a time when the stability of their own government is in question,” Allen says of Pakistan.

Earlier this year, we talked about the soft coup that took place in Pakistan. The military took over, leaving leaders as puppets. Read about that here.

Along with these instabilities, Allen points out infrastructure and energy supply as other concerns in Pakistan, and worse yet, the threat of ISIS. What’s happening with Pakistan is eerily similar to the conditions of Syria.

“There [are] already so many major things that Pakistan needs to tackle as a society on its own turf, but now they’re getting drawn into a battle outside of their own borders. That could really cripple or least cause them to limp a whole lot, and make it such a situation that is rigpe for ISIS to step in and manipulate that situation just like they did in Syria in the middle of the civil war.”

Christians in danger

Allen points out that many Christians assume violence against Christians is Islam vs. Christianity when in reality, the situation is Sunni vs. Everybody Else, including Muslim minority groups.

Regardless of who the violence is directed towards, there is a lot of fear, a lot of danger, and a lot of hurt for many people.

Pray that no matter what happens with the situation in Yemen, that the Church would continue to grow and that more people would hear the Gospel and follow Jesus. Pray for church gatherings to proceed safely. Pray for the upcoming conference organized by FMI-supported pastors.

“Anything that’s attached to the Gospel, right now, is on high alert,” Allen says.