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Pakistani Christians Form Community Outside Islamabad

In Pakistan Islam is the state religion and 95 percent of people are Muslims, Christians represent just a sliver of the population.

Pakistani Christian bride Dunya Yacob, 24, is carried by her cousin to her groom's makeshift home to attend her wedding ceremony at a slum home to Christian families on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan on Feb. 7.

“Since I was a little girl, I dreamed of the day I would get married and put on a nice dress and have a nice party with a lot of people,” the 24 year old said. “But today, my dream didn’t turn the way I imagined it, but there is nothing I can do about it. This is how our lives look like today and we have to adapt.”

Muhammed Muheisen / AP

Illiterate Pakistani Christians pray during a writing and reading class taught by a pastor and volunteers at a makeshift church on Feb. 6. The Christian Colony just outside of Islamabad is home to many Christians who once lived in the capital, but fled in fear after a string of blasphemy allegations and killings. In this country of 180 million people, where Islam is the state religion and 95 percent of people are Muslims, Christians represent just a sliver of the population.

Muhammed Muheisen / AP

Pakistani Christian bride Dunya Yacob, 24, center, is surrounded by family members while having her makeup done on her wedding day in a makeshift tent on Feb. 7.

Muhammed Muheisen / AP

Pakistani Christian bride Dunya Yacob, 24, and her groom Indriaz Liaqat, 27, sit during their wedding ceremony in a makeshift home on Feb. 7.

Muhammed Muheisen / AP

A Pakistani Christian vendor prepares meat on a grill to customers in the Christian neighborhood on Feb. 2. Most face daily discrimination and make a living by holding low-paying jobs, like street sweeping. However, they’ve carved out their own lives in a country that faces near-daily attacks by Islamic extremists.

Muhammed Muheisen / AP

Banners show Former Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, top right, and his late wife, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, as an elderly Christian man holds his grandson's hand on Feb. 7.

Muhammed Muheisen / AP

Pakistani Christians hang their laundry outside their makeshift tent on Feb. 2.

Muhammed Muheisen / AP

Pakistani Christian Shanaz Rafiq, 28, left, and her husband Rashid Rafiq, 32, stand in front of a pastor during the baptism ceremony of their son, at the Salvation Army Church in Rawalpindi on Feb. 8.

Muhammed Muheisen / AP

A 5 day-old Christian infant who was named Ashber following his baptism ceremony, is celebrated by relatives at the family's home in Rawalpindi on Feb. 1.

Muhammed Muheisen / AP

Pakistani Christians pray during Sunday Mass in a makeshift church on the outskirts of Islamabad on Feb. 8.

Muhammed Muheisen / AP

Pakistani Christian Arshad Massi, 33, showers in a makeshift bathroom on Feb. 4. Many of the Christians living in this slum have once lived elsewhere in the capital, but fled in fear after a string of blasphemy allegations and killings.

Muhammed Muheisen / AP

Pakistani Christian Basharat Bhatti, 43, center, sits with his family gathering around a fire to warm themselves from the evening cold on Feb. 3.

Muhammed Muheisen / AP