More stories of discrimination, persecution but steadfast hope..
This week our newsletter has some wonderful stories of hope and success that remind us that God can change any situation. Two victims of blasphemy allegations describe how they are now operating their own businesses, a local Christian community is receiving help from Muslims to build a church and a Pak-Christian asylum seeker mother has been emancipated after 9 months of being detained away from her children.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Sadly Pakistan has ruled to make Quranic studies mandatory at schools and as always we have more victims to report on. Please continue to pray for Pakistan.
The BPCA has no position on the EU referendum to be held tomorrow. However our Chairman has shared his views and you can read them here if you wish (click here). Whatever you vote please pray that we make the right decision.
In response to numerous requests we have initiated our new matrimonial sites for Asian Christians. The site will be free for 6 months and it is hoped that it will bring together Christians of all diversities, primarily supporting those of Indian subcontinent descent of course. Whether you are a Pakistani Christian in the UK seeking romance with a Pakistani Christian the UK or an Indian Christian in America seeking a wife from India this site is for you. Please do share the site with those you feel might benefit – www.shaadi4christians.com
Thank you for your continued support and donations.
British Pakistani Christian Association
Dating site for Asian Christians could provide romantic pathway to safe asylum
In response to numerous emails from Indian, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan and Pakistani Christians, the British Pakistani Christian Association has created a new matrimonial website. ‘Shaadi4Christians’ seeks to change the dynamic of arranged marriages, whilst also creating global links that can stoke more independent romantic relationships leading to wholesome marriages.
Read Christian Post article (click here)
Police slap and beat Pastor before congregation for over exuberant worship
Parishioners at a church in Lahore were abruptly forced to stop their worship, when a Police officer shouted at them whilst yielding a gun and began to beat their Pastor before their eyes.
United Pentecostal Church located at Fazlia Colony were thirty minutes into their 11:30 service, when 4 emergency Police officers responding to a 15 (Pakistani 999) police emergency call, asked stewards to bring Pastor Riaz Rehmat to them. Apparently a local Muslim man named Shabbir Shah had complained about the use of amplified music during the church service, that he alleged was causing a disturbance. Fortunately the wife of Pastor Riaz was leading the service at the time and this allowed Pastor Riaz the freedom to meet with police officer, without causing too much disruption to the service. Read full story (click here)
Teenage girl dead after Christian honour killing
A Christian man from Sialkot has murdered his sister in cold blood after she spoke of marrying her boyfriend whom the family did not approve.
The attack took place at around 10pm on Friday June 10th 2016. During a fit of rage, Anum Masih (19 years) was bludgeoned to death with a piece of wood by her brother Saqib Masih (23 years), whilst in her bed.
The animosity towards Anum developed after she had asked permission to marry her boyfriend, who was from the same caste as Anum. Whereas Muslim communities abhor couples marrying from outside of a caste, Christians couples are expected to marry from outside their caste due to a false premise of incest. Her boyfriend was not related by immediate bloodline but shared the same caste and to the family this was objectionable. Read full story (click here)
Local Muslims aid small deprived Christian community build church
A Muslim community not far form Pakistan’s worst attack on a Chistian community have sought to help their fellow Pakistani citizens by assisting Christians in raising funds for a church.
In 2009 the city of Gojra became a fiery furnace after 9 people including a bridegroom and bride were shot dead during a wedding ceremony. 200 homes and 3 churches were razed to the ground by a 5000 strong mob, who attacked the innocent Christian community after local mosques called for retaliation to an alleged blasphemy. After the attack, local police discredited a false allegation that torn shreds of the Quran had been used as confetti at a wedding. This singular event which impacted on Christians across the globe triggered the start of many Pakistani Christian campaign groups, including the British Pakistani Christian Association. Read full story (click here)
Turning rags into riches!
Blasphemy victim Aftab Masih escapes potential death and now operates his own-tailoring company
Aftab Masih (40 years-old) was accused of blasphemy for drinking water from a local Mosque,an act that was said to have contaminated the water with evil spirits. Aftab lived near a local mosque and like many other local people, his family regularly drew water from the water tap outside the mosque as no other clean water was available in the community. Mr Masih like many other local people paid for the water that was received from the mosque. He narrowly escaped an extra-judicial killing with the help of the BPCA after a Muslim lynch mob assembled to murder him. Aftab lived at a place called Railway Colony in Wazirabad, in the district of Gujranwala with his wife and five children. Due to the blasphemy charges Aftab was forced to flee his home and stayed in hiding for six months in Peshawar a city many miles away.
Read full story (click here)
Woman who lost foetus in violent attack now re-starting her life through new business.
Elishba Bibi was attacked by a Muslim family who refused to pay her the money she had earned for beautician work. Elishba was stripped naked and beaten with an iron rodcausing her to miscarry while carrying her 5 month old foetus. To add insult to injury the brutal Muslim family stole her gold jewellery and phone all because as a Christian she should not be charging Muslim’s for a service provided? Following a usual pattern, no-one was brought to justice for the murder of the unborn child, nor were the stolen items ever returned.
It took one year for the BPCA to find Elishba Bibiafter she went into hiding When we finally met we immediately compensated her with gold jewellery to replace the necklace that was stolen. We also provided some gifts for her children. Sadly we found that the family were in deep squalor due to having lost their original home and belongings after having to escape their city suburb for a more rural village in Mureedke. Read full story (click here)
No respite for Lahore Christians two years after mob attack on St Joseph’s community gun shots fired against church
BPCA officer Naveed Aziz surveys latest bullet holes in gates of St Joseph’s Catholic Church,
Christians near St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Dhoopsari, Sandha in Lahore are no strangers to Islamic fundamentalism. The community was attacked, looted and partially burned in 2015 after a false allegation of blasphemy against currently incarcerated victim Humayun Masih.
The province of Lahore itself is very aware of the dangers Christians face on a daily basis. A false blasphemy allegation against Sawan Masih in 2013, led to a community also named St Joseph’s colony being completely razed to the ground. Images of the attack still haunt Pakistani Christians and convicted Sawan Masih will not be able to appeal his innocence for another two years. In addition to this the Lahore twin church bomb attack 15th March 2015, and the Gulshan Park bomb attackin March this year have caused great anxiety and pain. Read full story (click here)
False media stories lead to arrest of more asylum seekers
Ten Pakistani Christians asylum seekers in Thailand were arrested yesterday from a place called Udom Suk. Among the arrested are a partially paralyzed man and a pregnant woman, and there is fear in the community that their health will be compromised under the brutal conditions of the Immigration Detention Centre, where 7 people have already died this year.
The arrested include a couple who left their two children behind in their room when the police came to arrest them. Apparently the couple could not bear for their children to be kept under such torturous conditions. Read full story (click here)
Compulsory Quranic study in Pakistani schools causes angst amongst beleaguered Christians
Pakistan’s increasingly extremist Government have recently announced that learning the Quran will be mandatory for school and college students of all ages. Moreover, 15 minutes of Quranic scripture recitations and prayers are to be conducted every day.
Yesterday the State Minister for Federal Education and Professional Learning, Balighur Rahman said:
We have already consulted over and presented the new syllabus to the Islamic Ideology Council and it has met their approval. We are now awaiting the opinions of the provincial governments who have all been sent a copy of the new syllabus.
Once the proposed national curriculum is implemented children in years 1-6 will be required to learn Quranic recitations (Nazira). Students in years 7-10 will be taught to recite scriptural verses about the incidents in the life of Muhammed and the translations. Students in years 10-12 will be required to learn the scriptural verses related to orders for the Ummah (Islamic people) and its translation. Read full story (click here)
Please sign our petition: (click here)
Pak-Christian Asylum seeker set free after 9 month incarceration in brutal Thai detention centre
Mehwish Anna with her husband Sajjad Chand and daughters Sataish and Prisicla.
A Pakistani Christian asylum seeker was set free after a brutal 9 month period of incarceration in the notorious Immigration Detention Centre of Bangkok.
Mehwish Anna was arrested on 10th September 2015 after she ventured out of her home and went to a nearby building to ask a friend if she would teach her daughters. Mehwish had simply desired some education for her daughters who had been missing school since arriving in Thailand. The reason for this? Well Thailand has not signed UN conventions for asylum meaning education and employment are not permitted to asylum seekers or refugees. Read full story and view video (click here)
Christian Ice-cream seller brutally beaten for fear of evil spirit contamination of ice-creams
Image of Khaleel Masih and his children Alisha (12 years), Rabia (11 years), Anisha (10 years), Mafia (6 years), Khalid (5 years), Sadia (4 years) at his home.
A Christian man was brutally beaten by close to thirty Muslim men when he undertook his regular ice-cream rounds at a village in Kasur.
Khaleel Masih (42 years) was selling ice-creams in Pogabhaduki near Chunia city on 17th May 2016, when two Muslim men name Muhammed Rizwan and Muhammed Farman started to insult him for his faith and the ‘evil spirit’ he was contaminating ice-cream with. Read full story (click here)