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ESTHER JOHN (QAMAR ZIA)
NURSE AND MARTYR, 1960
Qamar Zia was born into an Islamic family on 14 December 1929, in British India. She attended a Christian school from the age of seventeen, and was so inspired by the Book of Isaiah that she decided to convert to Christianity.
Zia's family migrated to the newly-born Pakistan in 1947. She continued to study the Bible in secret, and seven years later ran away from home, fearing that her family would force her into a marriage. She took a job in an orphanage in Laugesen, Karachi, and changed her name to Esther John. In June 1955, she moved to Sahiwal, where she lived and worked in a mission hospital. From 1956 to 1959, she trained to be a teacher at the United Bible Training Centre in Gujranwala, then spent the remainder of her life evangelizing in the villages around Chichawatni.
Esther John was found murdered in her bed on 2 February 1960, at her home in Chichawatni. She was buried at the Christian cemetery at Sahiwal.