Pakistan update

Latest from Wilson Chowdhry of British Pakistani Christian Association:

Fourth Christian man dies while in custody of Pakistan’s Christianophobic Police

imgFamily of Liaquat from L-R Zarish (9 years), Kinza (15 years), Adeel (12 years) and wife Rubina (40 years)

A Pakistani Christian man has died whilst in custody of the notoriously brutal police force of Pakistan. Liaquat Masih (47 years) the victim in this recent devastating police crime had been serving as driver for Raza Hameed the son of Gujuranwala politician S.A. Hameed of ‘Pakistan Tehreek Insaaf’ (PTI), for fifteen years. Liaquat has been described as a model employee by other colleagues and was a devout Christian who attended church regularly and held the post of Elder at his local church which is named ‘Roman Catholic Church’.

Sadly on 15th November 2015 he was arrested for theft under circumstances that are suspicious and are alleged to be false by family and friends, who state he was completely innocent and framed because he is a Christian. The allegation came from his employer who accused him of stealing gold from his home, despite the 15 years of loyal unbroken service provided by Liaquat Masih. The family believe this was an attempt to extort the money out of the family to replace the gold that had been stolen from them, as Mr Hameed had no insurance. Arresting officers took him to local police station (PS) Rahwali Cantt and he was later placed on judicial remand at Gujuranwala Prison.  Read full story (click here)

Thanks to your prayers and support Nissar Hussain has found a new home just outside of London

imgNissar Hussain approached the BPCA for help earlier this year after 15 years of persecution for converting from Christianity started to erode his desire to continue his campaign for protection of apostates in the UK.

His initial salvation at 15 initially withered away after his mother caught him reading a bible, but the shock of his brothers death when Nissar was 29 reminded him of the hope that only God can provide. When he was disowned by his wife who took his children away from him, when she discovered he was attending church, he did not lose faith. Instead he clung to God and prayed and worshipped with such passion and desire that God ultimately brought his wife and children to Christ. None of these life-changing events could shake his belief and desire to follow God and nor will the current persecution he is facing. Nissar has had his car smashed in six times by Muslims who feel affronted by his choice of following Christ, he was also brutally beaten on 14th November 2015 by men armed with a pick-axe handle (click here). Throughout all the persecution he has faced he has directed all his anguish in prayer towards our father God, who has been the great comforter Nissar needed and enabled him to stay resolute. See horrifying video of Nissar’s recent attack (click here)

Since he has been with us we have raised £1200 to support the family and were also offered a home in Scotland where the family could be housed indefinitely. However, a decision has been made to move them to another house just outside London in a retreat that will also provide the necessary counselling the family requires. The family are now also due to sell their home and work towards the finance required to move to the south more permanently, which is where Nissar believes he is being called. They currently need £575 for an estate agent fee to market their home and we are initiating an appeal to pay this for them.Read full story here (click here).

Man declared dead rises from the ashes of the Lahore Bomb attack!

Qaisor Pervaiz is now one of the most well known survivors of the Lahore twin bomb attack that occurred on March 15th 2015.The devastating unprovoked bomb blast instantly killed 17 people and left 86 people injured. The attacks took place at St James Roman Catholic Church and an Anglican church, Christchurch, which impacted on the entire Christian community in the town of Youhanabad.

Qaisor, his wife, and their eldest child Sitiash.

During the attack Qaisor, a voluntary security officer, saw his colleague rush to apprehend a suicide bomber. Qaisor ran after him to provide assistance and while his friend grappled with the attacker, Qaisor successfully pinned the bomber’s arms up to prevent him exploding his device. Unfortunately for the two of them the bomber was partnered by a gunmen who shot the incendiary device around the bomber’s waist. In the resulting blast Qaisor’s colleague was blown into pieces, howeverQaisor survived by a miracle. The impact should have also shattered him to smithereens but God has a great plan for Qaisor. His body was pinned tightly to his friend’s who was between him and the bomber which buffered him from the impact of the explosion. The impact broke many of the bones in Qasior’s body and he was left with with 85% burns after an electrical generator near the location he fell at leaked fuel over him, which subsequently set alight. Qaisor was seen screaming until he passed out and when paramedics arrived there was weak signs of life. During the journey to hospital Qaisor stopped breathing and was whisked into the hospital where attempts were made to resuscitate him. Qaisor’s time was not over however and his breathing returned but he was in a deep coma. Qaisor had been taken to Lahore General Hospital, where there is no specialist burns unit and due to his weak hold on life doctors advised the family to switch of his life support machines and to allow him to die in peace, for all intents and purposes he was dead to them. His family refused to believe this and they and the local churches prayed fervently for the life of Qasior who gave up so much for others, his family who he loved and cared for and even his own life. It was touch and go but finally after three days Qaisor woke from his coma and who was present at his side when he woke…none other than our own dedicated officer Mehwish Bhatti. Mehwish greeted Qaisor and then rushed out to call in his wife and family and many tears were shed. But this was not the end of his battle, Qaisor was still weak and was being removed from the hospital as they needed space, yes life can be cruel in Pakistan. Despite the fact that his health was still deemed critical he was sent home and told what medication and equipment he needed to prevent infections so he could heal properly. He was also told he would have to rest for 6 months just so his body could restore itself and to allow his broken bones to rejoin. Qaisor was the main breadwinner for the family so these extra costs coupled with his inability to work mean that health was not the only battle he would have to survive.  Read full story (click here)

Another Pakistani Christian asylum seeker dies in brutal Thailand Immigration Detention Centre

Pervaiz Ghouri
While Pakistani Christian asylum seekers were overcoming the demoralising loss of a dear sister Samina Faisal (click here), following alleged failures in duty of care leading to her death through kidney complications, another victim lost his fight for freedom.

53 year old Pervaiz Ghouri Masih who was suffering with a tumour and recurring heart condition, struggled with the lack of nourishment and cold, dingy, insalubrious overcrowded cells of Thailand’s notoriously brutal Immigration Detention Centre (IDC), which cumulatively were just too much for his frail body to take. A father of six daughters, Pervaiz was arrested alone while resting at home on 10th September 2015. He was not set free by charities struggling to raise the £1000 required to free detainees on bail, which consequently affords a two year protection from rearrest. Women with children as vulnerable groups were prioritised while Pervaiz was fatally overlooked.

As a Christian Pervaiz was excited by the onset of Christmas, rejoicing that his saviour had come to earth to reconcile man with God. His celebration of Christ’s birth was not met with a savoury stuffed turkey and lip smacking cranberry sauce, but with cold boiled water with cucumber segments, described by his jailors as cucumber soup. No table, chair or bed were provided for his comfort despite his sallow appearance and intimated poor health, no, Pervais was required to find what little space he could find on the floor of a room that can barely squeeze one hundred people into it, crammed with over 150 detainees. Here Pervaiz had to eat, sleep and live out the final days of his wretched existence. Read full story (click here)

Muslim man caught burning copies of Bible in Kasur Church

imgBPCA officer Naveed Masih met with the church leadership to discuss how the BPCA can help.

Parishioners of Victory Church in Kasur were horrified to see a young Muslim man burning their church bibles, when they arrived at their church to pray during the day of Epiphany on Wednesday 6th January.

Akba Azhar a 26 year old Muslim apparently had broken into their church and burnt their bibles and other Christian books including worship and Bible study material. Realising he had been discovered Mr Azhar tried to flee but was caught by young Christian men who brought him back to the church and held him there until local policemen arrived, in response to their calls for assistance.

On arrival the police took the man into custody, but later refused to file a First Incident Report (Police report) against the perpetrator, stating that Mr Azhar was deemed to be mentally unstable, therefore unfit for prosecution. However, parishioners at the church have advised local police that they believe the man is both lucid and mentally stable and had been playing cricket with some of the Christian men the night before the burglary and arson attack. They have demanded that Mr Azhar should be tried under the notorious blasphemy laws of Pakistan as the man has desecrated Christian scriptures, in the same fashion as the laws have been used against Christians. Read full story (click here).

Lahore church burnt in suspicious circumstances alleged to be arson attack

The New Apostolic church in Batth village, 80 km away from Lahore on the Multan road, was set on fire after a New Year celebration Wednesday 6th January in an incident that has created great suspicion and fear amongst the local Christian community. The local pastor, Yaqoob Saraoya, described how he had shut the church at around 12:30 and received a call only an hour later that the building was ablaze. He arrived back there within minutes and with local Christian villagers was able to put out the fire within an hour with no assistance from the fire service.

Believing it was an act of arson in response to the exuberance of their worship and celebrations, Pastor Yaqoob called the local Manga Police Station. Station Head officer Afzal Sindu arrived with other officers within a few minutes and undertook a very short investigation and suggested the fire was initiated by a short circuit rather than arson attack. They refused to lodge a First Incident Report for a crime stating it must have been an accident. However Kasur, a nearby town, was the location of the attack of Shama and Shahzad who were burnt alive by a mob of in excess of 3000 in November 2014 (click here) , moreover a nearby church had already been subjected to an arson attack, the Victory Church of Kasur on the day of Epiphany on 6th January.  Read full story (click here)

Christmas and New Year Tragedy: Detained Pakistani Christian mother dies in Custody

A 30 year old Christian woman who had fled violence-ridden Karachi in Pakistan and sought refuge in Thailand, needlessly died on Christmas Eve after she was arrested and detained in horrific conditions for being there after her visa expired, according to the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA).

Samina Faisal and her family had already faced tragedy this year after medical complications led to her losing a baby who was stillborn at 6 months in March. Since then she had been suffering ongoing high blood pressure and hypertension together with a shrinking kidney.

Samina was arrested along with many other Pakistani Christians in Thailand on 20th December as part of an ongoing wave of arrests of foreigners deemed to have overstayed their visas. Despite her remonstrations that she was receiving treatment for long-running health conditions, for which she showed paperwork, her arrest stood. Samina advised her wardens of the medication she required but her imploring fell on death ears. The UNHCR informed Samina’s husband of her death on New Years Eve – several days after her death. They bailed her sister on the same day, allegedly as a form of appeasement.

Sources have suggested this ‘crackdown’ was a result of warnings about an Islamic State cell infiltrating the country, but Thai authorities have denied this.

Read full story (click here)

Bomb and blasphemy victims gain business skills to restore their lives.

imgImage shows group of bomb blast victims and blasphemy victims who attended our first entrepreneurial programme.

In June 2015, Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, travelled to Uganda to oversee the training of our senior officer Mehwish Bhatti to certify her as a trainer in Business Skill and Entrepreneurship.

The training went extremely well and as a result Mehwish was made responsible to initiate the courses free of charge to rural communities in Pakistan. However, the sheer intensity of violence meted out on Christians since the training, debilitated our group from progressing in these courses. Simply responding to the immediate needs of victims left us fighting fires rather than developing communities and strengthening them. In December, as we remembered the hope that Christ gives us during the period that Christians across the globe have chosen to commemorate Jesus’ birth, we set aside time for our first Business Skills course.

The course provides essential business skills with a strong Christian influence, enabling participants to grasp the concept of profit, budgeting, and how to obtain finance with a good conscience. Those that completed the course submitted proposals for new businesses which our partner, a huge global Christian charity, will review and select proposals which exude the ability to attract start-up grants. This means the training could ultimately help remove the deprived communities out of their current dire poverty into a position of financial stability and progress. Thus to our best extent, we have provided those under our care with the greatest possible Christmas gift at our disposal – the potential to earn for themselves to a place of self-sufficiency and the return of their dignity. Read full story (click here)

To receive these updates write to: Wilson Chowdhry <>

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