Ill treatment, violence, ostracism, arson, no aid after earthquake, no asylum after fleeing home….some of the many ways.
Peace Vigil to Highlight Plight of Apostates in UK
A multi-faith peace vigil will be held in Bradford city centre this weekend. The event has been organised by the BPCA and Mohammed Fiaz (Ex-Muslim who converted to Christinaity in his teens) in response to the recent attack on Nissar Hussain, one of many converts to Christianity who has faced great persecution for his choice to quit Islam. A letter written condemning the violence to Nissar and his family by the Bishop of Bradford, Toby Howarth, will be read out at the event.
Organisers hope the protest will galvanise support from people across the UK concerned about the rise of intolerance and who adhere to a belief that life is precious and should be free from imposition. A petition will then be submitted to the local council calling for better policing protocol, community cohesion policies and practices, and help for victims of apostasy hatred. The event will also be a chance for campaigners to call for information on the assailants who attacked Mr Hussain on 17th November and beat him with the handle of a pick-axe leaving him admitted to hospital for 6 days. Thus far none of the attackers have yet been identified. Read more (click here).
Sign our petition (click here)
Nissar Hussain, said:
“We are under the cosh and classed as blasphemers. The Muslim community are largely decent people but because of the taboo of converting to Christianity we are classed by them as scum and second-class citizens. Most of the Muslim community here have turned a blind eye to what we are going through. There are some who have condoned it but there are also those who are directly committing hate crimes against us.”
As a result of this unprovoked assault Nissar has been left with a fractured kneecap; a fractured left hand; and extensive bruising all over his body. Due to the severity of these injuries to his knee and hand he has had to undergo surgery.
Date: 5th December 2015
Time: 14:00 (2PM)
Venue: Outside Bradford Town Hall, Norfolk Gardens, Bradford, West Yorkshire BD1 1UH
Later an on-line petition will be submitted to 10 Downing Street calling for a national policing policy that includes adequate protocols for tackling the rise of apostasy hatred in the UK and for apostasy hatred to be included within the existing framework of the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006.
Despite his fragile and threatened state Nissar Hussain has decided to join the protest. Will you come out and support him? Read full story (click here)
Brutal thailand arrest and detention of traumatised asylum seekers
Our hosts Papa and mama Thongchai talking with the mothers left without their husbands.
A British man today reported on the dramatic raids and their aftermath that he witnessed against Pakistani Christian refugees and asylum seekers in Thailand.
Wilson Chowdhry, chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) travelled to Thailand last week to see for himself more of what Pakistani Christian and Ahmahdi refugees suffer in Thailand.
Immediately after flying out from the UK to Thailand, he and his host were alerted by an emergency call-up system among Pakistani Christians that there were immigration raids going on and they rushed to the spot but were too late to capture anything on camera, but they did find flimsy doors battered down and distraught women and children left behind when the fathers, and sometimes the teenage daughters, had been roughly seized and taken into custody. The women described a large number of police, armed soldiers and immigration officers kicking in doors and seizing them from hiding places under tables and beds, about being treated like criminals, being pat-searched. They talked of the trauma of little children seeing their fathers being taken away. Read full story (click here)
Earthquake Victims Still Desperately Need Homes Stablised
BPCA’S Mehwish Bhatti visited families, provided food parcels. and prayed with them.
At least 300 people were confirmed dead and more than 2,000 were reported injured in the aftermath of the massive 8.1 magnitude earthquake which hit northern Afghanistan and Pakistan on Monday, 26 October, 2015. The majority of injuries were minor despite the magnitude of the earthquake reportedly being the most severe in Pakistan’s history. The whole of Pakistan was affected by the devastating tremors, but thankfully remarkably few Christians were affected. After a few days reports came to us via victims desperate for help, and our Lead Officer in Pakistan, Mehwish Bhatti, visited the affected communities this week.
The affected areas include Phandu in Peshawar, Nowshera and Nanogil colony in Risalpur and areas around the Kabul River.
Mehiwsh met with several Christian families in these areas and assessed the damage. Properties have become very unstable with fault lines appearing in the already poorly rendered properties. The properties were built often by inadequately experienced builders working on a tight budget, so it is no surprise that damage ensued during this most recent natural disaster. Christians in these areas eke out a miserable existence, poverty is compounded with harsh weather conditions, but they make the most of it and maintain faith that God will continue to provide for them.
Victims complained about government negligence towards them as the families have been facing extremely severe discrimination in this highly talibanised area. Families spoke of having to educate their daughters at home to avoid their kidnap by Taliban soldiers who despise the notion of education for a perceived valueless gender. Moreover they have had protection money extorted from them by Taliban soldiers, an act of subjugation sanctioned within Islam and termed Jizya tax. Families find it hard enough to make ends meet and are now also faced with huge unaffordable repair bills following the earthquake.
Pervaiz Masih spoke to the BPCA and described his concerns over the persecution his family is facing, especially his daughter. He said:
” In KPK we Christians feel very isolated. We are facing daily persecution and no-one cares about the stress we are suffering – not even the church. My daughter Shiza, who was studying for her Masters degree, was falsely accused of cheating in her exam. She was innocent and explained that it was one of the Muslim girls, but as the only Christian girl in the school she was targeted, blamed, and expelled. My daughter has wasted one year of her life and will no doubt waste more. We struggled to raise the money to educate her when we realised she was so academic. She had the chance to escape this poverty and to help her family too. but local Muslims envied her and now we have lost all our investment.”
Pervaiz Masih described how recently a Christian woman was beaten by Muslims on her wedding day, in retaliation for a minor squabble between small Muslim children and Christian children. In the attack several Christian women were beaten and their gold jewellery snatched in broad daylight. When Christian leaders tried to highlight this issue to the government, whilst seeking protection and justice they were met with complete insouciance.
Pervaiz Masih also explained to the BPCA that his son has graduated in the sciences but is forced to work as a sweeper despite his obvious academic prowess. Mr Masih alleges that all government jobs are obtained by those who either have money or have links in government. This is extremely disconcerting as it clearly illustrates the government failure to enact the 5% quota of jobs for minorities, choosing to provide that quota for menial work rather than the more illustrious careers, that campaigners had expected of the ruling. Mr Masih said:
“Christians are not getting any favour from the government not even on merit.”
Read full story (click here)
TV Channel razed to the ground for preaching the Gospel!
Hundreds of outreach books fuelled a 30 minute blaze destroying the TV Channel’s offices.
Gawahi TV, a Christian cable TV channel based in Karachi, was razed to the ground in what owners believe was a religiously motivated attack. Peter Danish the station’s 25 year old Director confirmed that for the last 3 months several threats were received by the station for their continuance to preach the Gospel across Pakistan – an act that is said to create as much animosity in Pakistan today as when the disciples were alive.
The fire at their offices located at Akhtar Colony, very near to St Peter’s colony which consumed all their equipment including PCs, Macs, cameras, sound and editing equipment and 1500 newly published outreach books entitled “The Christ’s Hope,” has been officially recorded as an electrical short circuit.
However, the channel’s owner Pastor Safraz William has confirmed that people had been seen running away from the building and the door had visible signs of forced physical entry. Moreover the CCTV cameras and recordings that could have proven trespass and arson had been stolen.
The suspicious broken lock
The work of Gawahi Mission Trust has now been temporarily stopped. The mission was initiated through a collaboration between Catholics and Protestants and had been sharing hymns, daily devotionals, news and the Gospel to over 12,000,000 viewers daily. The station had been employing 15 members of staff comprising of 12 Christians and 3 Muslims, and was airing 6 hours of fresh footage each day during their 24 hour TV service.
The sizeable Christian community of South Karachi where the station was located have been shocked and stunned by the attack.
Local viewer Boota Masih, said:
“The channel was a beacon of hope for many. It was a chance for us to immerse ourselves in the word of God, the loss of the channel whether for a short time or long time will affect us. The attack reminds us again how the word of God is hated by local Muslims and this frightens me.”
Christian Brick Kiln Workers Suffer Police Brutality
Brutalised Brick Kiln Workers
On 21st November 2015 seven Christian brick kiln workers were detained and mercilessly beaten by local police after they were stopped and searched during their rickshaw journey home. Police officials allegedly snatched the impoverished workers’ salaries for the week which amounted to just 16700 rupees (£100) in total. The men were then illegally arrested without any charges and had to be bailed out on the guarantee of local community leaders.
Allah Rakha (47 years), his sons Asif (25 years) and Khurram (17 years) along with four other co-villagers Sittar Masih (38 years), his son Naeem (25 years) a serving army personnel, Tariq Masih (30 years) and Nadeem Masih (28 years), had all been working at Allah Towaqal Bricks Company located at Adha Sukhaira in the district of Sumandri.
Allaha Rakha told BPCA representative Shamim Masih that they were travelling home by rickshaw late at night after a hard day’s toil when three police officials: Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) Barkat Ali, ASI Allah Dita, and constable Mohammad Razaq stopped them for no apparent reason, citing routine inspection. The officers asked them their personal details and the details of their journey. The seven men provided all they were asked, but noticed a change in the police behaviour on sharing their Christian names. The officers suddenly turned more aggressive and conducted a search during which they found the pittance of weekly wages paid to the hard working brick kiln labourers which amounted to a measly £100 between them. Despite remonstrations that the money was their weekly wages, the police officers starting beating the innocent men accusing them of being Christian drug dealers and robbers. They then proceeded to arrest the men illegally and detained them at Thirkani Police Station in Sumandri. Read full story (click here)