UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage’s beleaguered election campaign has received a divine endorsement from an unlikely source this week.
A Christian church in Pakistan has been filmed praying for the success of Britain’s ring-wing Euroskeptic party in the general election this May.
Ruptly video news agency filmed congregants at Lahore’s Royal Disciple Church chanting while a whiteboard in the background reads: “We love you Sir Nigel Farage, Jesus Christ is with your UKIP party.”
Larger banners featuring photographs of the UKIP leader hang from within the church’s interior and the walls are covered in the party’s purple colors.
One poster reads “God Made You Successful” and references Jeremiah 1:10 from the Old Testament of the Bible.
While not quoted on the poster, The New International Version of the Bible states Jeremiah 1:10 reads: “See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”
Pastor Francis Bashir explains his reasons for organizing prayer sessions for UKIP.
Speaking in Urdu, he says: “Someone on Facebook requested me to pray for Nigel Farage, so I started praying for him. It was a month back.
“Later my son made a phone call to Mr. Nigel Farage and he received that call, and love in our hearts for him increased as a result of that call.
“Then we started fixing banners in our streets and started prayers for him so that God may bless his party with success in the coming days,” he added.
The Independent reports Farage responded to the support by saying he was “very touched by the prayers.”
Ruptly, a subsidiary of RT, describe the Christian congregation as coming from a slum area in Lahore.
The community says they believe UKIP stands up for Christian cultures and values.
Christians make up just 2.5 percent of Pakistan’s population and are treated as second class citizens according to Open Doors, an international organization supporting persecuted churches.
The organization claims Pakistan’s blasphemy laws are abused to attack the minority group, while vigilantes have been known to target congregations during services.
At least 14 people were killed and 70 injured in two terrorist attacks on Christian churches in the country last month. The Pakistani Taliban is reported to have claimed responsibility for the attacks.
As in other parts of the world, sectarian conflict descended into a cycle of violence when a group of Christians lynched two suspected terrorists, according to the Christian Post.
This in turn prompted two young Muslims to beat up and set fire to a 14-year-old Christian boy earlier this month.