Visit our new British Pakistani Christians website

Visit our new British Pakistani Christians website
This site will no longer publish new material. Please join our new website www.britishpakistanichristians.org

Monday, 30 November 2009

Private Meeting with MEP Jean Lambert


Jean Lambert has agreed to meet with a limit of up to 7 visitors in a private meeting set on finding a forward solution to the persecution in Pakistan. We have invited Doctor Peter David to the meeting and he has kindly donated a conference room.

I am looking for other potential partners to come forward and be included in this meeting and to join the convoy to deliver the Petition to 10 Downing Street or to the Pakistani Embassy. Please do nominate yourselves or others. We believe an 11 year old singer will be delivering the petition, she has been nominated by Sister Jessica Harris of Southall and we hope that the parents will agree to her undertaking this important role. We will name her on confirmation and are pleased that we have someone from the next generation leading this important delegation.

Jean Lambert MEP will be present at the end of the procession!

We still need more stewards....??

We have

Sikh Brother joins our cause


I received this article form Brother Tarsem Lalli he is a baptised Sikh in the UK and has informed other Sikh organisations of our campaign. I hope to see a number of them at our event, which is designed to tackle religious intolerance to people of any faith in Pakistan (sic):


AMRITSAR:


A Sikh advocate in Pakistan was reportedly thrashed and threatened with dire consequences recently if he did not convert to Islam, forcing his family to run for safety to a gurdwara in Hassanabdal near Rawalpindi. While the victim, Anup Singh, was yet to regain consciousness, the incident has left the Sikh community in Pakistan rattled and insecure.


Talking to TOI from Islamabad, Anup’s brother, Ravinder Singh, recalled horror of November 21. ‘‘A group of at least eight men kidnapped my brother from his office and took him to Mohammad Amin’s residence, where he was stripped and photographed with Amin’s wife.’’ Undergoing treatment for fractures and severe head injuries in Holy Family Hospital, Ralwalpindi, where doctors said it might take a few months before Anup could start leading a normal life, the advocate was reportedly assaulted for fighting a separation case for Amin’s wife, Safina Kanwal. ‘‘The goons made my brother sign on a blank paper, after which they cut his hair, beard, moustaches and threatened him to convert to Islam if he wanted to live in Pakistan.’’


Source:http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/sunday-toi/special-report/Pak-Sikh-thrashed-for-not-converting/articleshow/5280363.cms

Tarsem Singh Lalli

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Need Your Help!


We are still looking for the following:



  • Volunteers to be stewards on the day of the Protest March

  • Performers for the 1 hour worship service at Lowndes Square (for of Pakistani Embassy) this will be from 11;00 - 12:00 prior to setting off on our march.

  • Preachers for short sermons and prayers during our 1 hour service.

  • Political speakers for the 30 minute debrief post- completion of march.

We would also like nominations from people for the 5 people to submit our petition to 10 Downing Street and an additional 5 People to submit a petition to the Pakistani Embassy- please explain why your nomination should be selected in no more than 400 words. You can email nominations to Wilson at wilson@aasecurity.co.uk. We would appreciate if we could find at least two senior women figures from the community. Delegates can include people from others faiths and the political arena, as long as you ask their permission before nominating.


We are in particular looking for two Children between the ages of 5-10 who have a good community background - in particular for our community. They will be selected to be petition bearers with the main delegations submitting petition to the above bodies and will represent our the next generation and posterity.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Southall Youth Fusion Event

The Southall Youth Fusion Event takes place at St Johns Church, Church Avenue, Southall UB2 4DH on Saturday 28th November 2009. It is on the same day as the Daily Aftab meeting in Coventry. I cannot attend either as I will be leaving for France tomorrow. However, I wish both events this weekend great success.

Just click on the image to learn more!

It is good to see that more churches are asking us to promote their events. This is what we are here to do and our service is provided free of charge - as long as it is for the edification of our community.

Just clu

The Coming King Event

Reverend Shabaz invites people to come and attend a ministry event on the 12th December 2009. The event will be held at Walthamstow Assembly Hall and is free to all.
Please click on the imgaes to learn more.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Petition direct to Number 10 Dowing Street _ Gordon Brown Please listen!

Image of Wilson Chowdhry after his first visit to 10 Downing Street this year!

We have placed a petition on the Number 10 Downing Street Website. This will be live until our protest. Please sign it electronically and inform as many interested parties as possible.

http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/Save-lives/

Together we can achieve our long term ambition to solve the problems in Pakistan

Thank you for your support

Wilson

Video of our recent inaugral meeting


video

There will be other videos of the event to follow but these will be screened within our members only section to protect the identity of our lead workers in Pakistan.

Inaugural meeting of BPCA


video

Video of Alex Chowdhry our Chairman as he talked about the Aims and Ambitions of the BPCA.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

BBC Covers one of Wilson's protests yesterday!

Cannibals gorging on human flesh - does it sound familiar...?

Here is a link to the BBC's website reporting on a Local protest held in Ilford Yesterday (Click here)

This was not my biggest ever protest, but just as always, I ensure it gets good media coverage. I was also interviewed for a BBC London Radio news story that was repeated throughout Saturday. The reporters involved have indicated an interest in covering our protest on the 19th December. This could finally mean, we are hitting the more important media. After the protest rather tired and dishevelled I attended some of the most excellent music concert at Alperton on th weekend. I also distributed flyers about our protest. I could not stay to speak during my allocated time near the end of the event as my wife and two children were in the car and were exhausted from supporting the King George Campaign. I met with a few people at the vent and added more contacts to our increasing circle of Pakistani Christians, committed to bringing change to Pakistan.

My brother Atiq arrived later and met with brothers and sisters at the event, he was encouraged by the support you are exhibiting. He was disappointed by the remarks from one of our brothers who condemned our protest. The gentleman has been invited to a Christmas reception at the Pakistani Embassy on the same day as our protest march. While he sips his Champagne there will be girls raped in Pakistan, families left destitute, our brothers and sisters in Pakistan will continue living their pitiful existence. There hope will be in Christ and I will be praying for them before, during and after our protest.

If I can get the BBC to film our protest it would great to film some of our beloved community leaders, who have opted to betray what is an event that will really cement our campaign together - in favour of a sumptuous meal? Even Judas Iscariot needed 30 pieces of silver....? Imaging the eternal shame these leaders will feel, as our protesters, boo there every step - focused on selling out our community...? Immortalised betrayal on film!
The Judas kiss - an ongoing malaise pervading the very fabric of Christianity!

I am tired of hearing the same sycophants state that there is a need to engage in dialogue with the Pakistani Embassy. What dialogue do they have at these receptions (conversations on how well the goose was cooked?), it's disturbing that the "usual suspects" continue to visit these receptions. I have turned down an invitation to an award ceremony received by President Musharraf and deliberately avoided a meal at the Pakistani Embassy after an award from the Pakistani Christian Federation UK - hosted by Dr David Peter. I will not accept receptions of this type whilst my people suffer! At the recent protest held by Christian Social Link at the Pakistani Embassy - a number of our community had the door slammed in their faces, when trying to attend the embassy reception, that on that day also, was conveniently arranged during a protest. This is a rather puerile attempt by the embassy to thwart our activity as it is obviously having affect and causing them much embarrassment. Lets hope those that have accepted the invitation this time actually get to savour the delectable meal proposed and that they do not choke on it.

I implore our community to stand up for what is right seek discernment through Christ for what is right. We are not preaching hatred we invite people of all faiths to join us. Our group seeks only justice and equality for our people.

If you are a Pastor and have arranged a function on this date, please alter the date. There is still time to join our campaign. Worship and fellowship are important parts of any church, however what is more important to our community than peace in Pakistan....?

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Wilson's presentation and the results from our recent learning activity

Atiq Chowdhry leading learning activity


Here is a link to my recent PowerPoint presentation at the BPCA inaugural meeting. If you have any queries relating to it please do make contact:

My presentation

A video will follow this post this evening.

During the Meeting Atiq Chowdhry led a learning activity on the pros and cons of previous protest and potential improvements. The results were as follows:

Cons:
  • Lack of wider or international media - coverage was dominated by Christian media.
  • Leadership not clear event seems uncoordinated
  • Only 300 people at event
  • Timing of event was not clear and event had limited preparation time
  • Not enough political figures were present at the event
  • Too much Urdu content - message not conveyed clearly to other races
  • No leaflets at first event.
Pros:
  • More activity across a larger number of groups than ever before
  • Pressure resulted in some media coverage
  • More of the event was spoken in English (second protest)
  • Peoples hearts were stirred new groups have made contact - public have responded to us aware of our concerns, which they previously new nothing of
  • Leaflets were produced at second event
  • Media attention is growing regrading the concern

Suggested Improvements:

  • A coordination Team needs to be arranged prior to the Protest. (we will hold a meeting two weeks before event)
  • Maintain contact with all Asian Christian Churches (Christian Social Link to provide details)
  • Prominent leaders to lead march
  • Strong leadership
  • Trained stewards (Wilson to train -need volunteers)
  • Scheduled speakers (Christian Social Link to provide names)
  • Good worship structure before and after event - not during march
  • Wider Participation from political pressure/campaign groups, other faiths and christian organisations.
  • Formal letters to church organisations (CSL to provide details)
  • Promote demonstration through Christian media
  • Retain spiritual focus throughout event - we are ambassadors for Christ

If you would like to add any comment please do so........

It was agreed at the end of our meeting that Christian Social Link will eb our lead partners with the event.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Shahbaz Bhatti and Qamar Rafiq

While talking to special correspondent of Wilson Group UK, on Thursday; Shahbaz Bhatti Federal minister for Minorities affairs said; Government is taking into account of all subjects related to minorities in the line of their empowerment and religious freedom.

In addition he highlighted the sacrifice of Pervaiz Messiah in the brutal act of violence in Islamic International University. He said; Pervaiz Messiah has projected the distinctive image of minorities in Pakistan with proud and has proven the solidarity with his country. His sacrifice is long lasting and we recognize his braveness at national level.

Mr. Shahbaz Bhatti stated that doors of Pakistan would remain open for Sikh Yatrees. He was talking to the Sikh delegations in minority ministry in Islamabad, who visited his office to pay gratitude for his superior concern during their Pakistan Yatra in the line of a birthday celebration of Baba Guru Nanak.

While talking Mr. Bhatti Said; all churches, temples and gurdwaras would be provided with contemporary amenities and an ample Religious Tourism would be introduced in a while. Sikh Marriage Act would also be presented in the Parliament for legislation after discussion.

He said; present Government is taking gallant steps for the welfare and safeguard of minorities under the vibrant leadership of President Asif Ali Zardari and Mr. Yousaf Raza Gillani Prime minister of Pakistan.

Qamar Rafiq
Special correspondent to WILSON Group United Kingdom
Islamabad, Pakistan

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Protest on 21st November against Sharia Law and for Human Rights!


I have received this email from Maryam Namazie from One Law for all. It details there forthcoming Protest on the 21st November. I have spoken with Maryam and asked her to advise her partners groups of our protest. She has agreed to do this. Please do try to attend her protest on the 21st, as they have similar aims to us.

21 November is a day against Sharia law and for human rights

One Law for All campaign is organising a rally on Saturday 21 November 2009 at 1200pm in London’s Hyde Park. The rally aims to oppose religious laws in Britain and elsewhere, show solidarity with people living under and resisting Sharia, and to defend universal rights and secularism.

Simultaneous acts of solidarity and support for the rally and its aims will take place in countries across the world including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Kenya, Nigeria, Serbia and Montenegro and Sweden. (To organise an act – however small – contact us; right now acts taking place are groups or individuals handing out leaflets, organising a petition, holding rallies, issuing a statement on Sharia and so on.)

Moreover, winners of the campaign’s art competition exposing the discriminatory nature of religious law and promoting freedom and equal rights will be announced at the event.

One Law for All Spokesperson, Maryam Namazie, commented, ‘Sharia law is becoming a key battleground, particularly because it is an extension and representation of the rising threat of Islamism. Sharia matters to people everywhere because it adversely affects the rights, lives and freedoms of countless human beings across the world. Opposing Sharia law is a crucial step in defending universal and equal rights and secularism and showing real solidarity with people living under and resisting it everywhere. November 21 is yet another important day for further strengthening the mass movement needed that can and will put a stop to Sharia once and for all.’

Notes

1. The One Law for All campaign rally marks Universal Children’s Day and the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women:
Date: November 21, 2009
Time: 1200hrs – 1400hrs
Place: North Carriage Drive, in-between Stanhope Place Gate and Albion Gate, Hyde Park (closest underground Marble Arch).

2. Speakers at the rally include: Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain’s Asad Abbas; Poet ‘AK47;’ One Law for All’s Yasmin Atasheen; Musician Fari B; International Humanist and Ethical Union’s Roy Brown; Secularist Ismail Einashe; Singer/Songwriter David Fisher; Philosopher AC Grayling; Southall Black Sisters’ Rahila Gupta; Journalist Johann Hari; Poet ‘Lilith;’ Organisation of Women’s Freedom in Iraq’s Houzan Mahmoud, Lawyer Cris Mccurley; Lawyer Rony Miah; Campaigner Maryam Namazie; Writer Taslima Nasrin; British Humanist Association’s Naomi Phillips; European Humanist Federation’s David Pollock; Iranian Secular Society’s Fariborz Pooya; National Secular Society’s Terry Sanderson; Poet Selina aka ‘Jus1Jam;’ Activist Muriel Seltman; Equal Rights Now’s Sohaila Sharifi; Organisation for the Defence of Secularism and Civil Rights in Iraq’s Issam Shukri; Iran Solidarity’s Bahram Soroush; Human Rights Campaigner Peter Tatchell and National Secular Society’s Keith Porteous Wood.

3. Art competition judges are Philosopher AC Grayling; Singer Deeyah; Journalist Johann Hari; and Columnist Polly Toynbee.

4. Responses to Frequently Asked Questions including the affinity between the far right and the Islamists, the issue of secularism, whether Islamic states are a threat to humankind and the need to defend the right to asylum for those who have fled Sharia law can be found on http://www.onelawforall.org.uk/about/faq.

5. One Law for All campaign was launched on 10 December 2008 - International Human Rights Day. It has since received the support of over 20,000 groups and individuals.

6. For further comment or information, please contact Maryam Namazie on +44 (0) 7719166731 or onelawforall@gmail.com or visit
http://www.onelawforall.org.uk/.


Maryam Namazie Spokesperson One Law for All BM Box 2387London WC1N 3XX, UKTel: +44 (0) 7719166731onelawforall@gmail.comwww.onelawforall.org.uk

Report from our Inaugral Meeting

Pray for Pakistan Will these bands be all the rage at our protest on the 19th...?
We certainly believe so!


On a wind swept stormy day in Ilford we held the first of the British Pakistani Christian Association meetings. The meeting was very successful which resulted in a commitment from Christian Social Link, Pastor Suleman Akhtar (Ilford) An officer from "Release International"and Imtiaz Khan form the Ley street centre to help with the development of the protest march to be held on the 19th December 2009.

Christian Social link were thanked by Alex Chowdhry and myself for their work in forming our community into a cohesive unit. Prior to their existence, the networking within our community was limited and it was they that have started the fervent campaigning we see in recent times - a consequence of their recent protests. To have them on board with our event is a testament to our commitment and their love for our community. Without a doubt, Christian Social Link are key players in our community now and they have helped galvanise our community into the semblance of a religious and political being. We want to support their work and hope that others will follow suit and collaborate in an effort to affect real change to the situation in Pakistan.

Atiq Chowdhry initiated the meeting with a welcome and the usual health and safety detail - what to do in case of fire and welfare facilities. He was able to use his previous experience working with British Airways to good use as he guided people to the available amenities by using sweeping gestures with his arms. Heh heh, apologies for the intentional unecessary detail...

Our Chairman talked about our group and how it was formed by 3 brothers Alex, Atiq and I who decided to pool our abilities together, to help re-shape our communities approach to tackling the atrocities in Pakistan. Alex explained, that we are looking for new members and that key positions including the chairmanship of the group, would be up for election - once we hear from interested candidates.

Alex went through the aims of our group and expanded on every item - if you missed the meeting don't worry! A film recording will be posted later today.

It was the unanmed Officer form Release International was next and he went through a very emotionally charged presentation that was bolstered by an excellent video on how "release International" is tackling the problem of International Christian Persecution. If you did not attend it is a shame as this was an inspirational call to action. Don't worry though, once again - we filmed it!

Next it was my turn I explained why we holding the Protest march, what we expected to achieve and how others could get involved. I also went through the potential wording for our petition. A copy of my Powerpoint presentation is shown in the next post and I will be posting part of the filmed presentation (camera ran out of charge).

Atiq returned and took us all through a learning activity devised to help derive the "pro's and con's" of previous protests, with a focus on how to improve for our demonstration on the 19th December 2009. All who attended participated and really enjoyed this event - it was a great learning opportunity for us all.

The feedback from the groups learning session will be posted tomorrow - in the meanwhile if you have any ideas for, or would like to get more involved with our group, or the protest march. Please do get in touch.

At the end of the meeting the unnamed officer from Release International provided me with some copies of the Release International Magazine. If you would like a copy please contact us. Release are also selling Pray for Pakistan wrist bands as modelled above. All the money goes towards their excellent work in Pakistan. Please contact us if you would like to purchase some.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Freedom Fighter!

Here are some of the articles on my recent visit to 10 Downing Street to receive a reward from Prime Minister Gordon Brown


The recorder said (Click Here)


Eastern Eye said (Click here)

Growing well!


Dear Wilson,

Greetings from CAP Ministries, Pakistan.

I received this email from Kaleem Dean Director of CAP ministries in Pakistan. Every day new readers are tapping into our exciting blog and we hope that more of you will encourage others join so that finally we can bind and strengthen our disparate communities into one cohesive network. I have asked Kaleem to share this blog within his network (sic):


Dear Wilson,


Thanks for your letters and information. Indeed, Pakistani Christians needed a voice and hopefully, you are doing good campaign for Christian rights in Pakistan. We were publishing a weekly newspaper Christian Monitor but due to monetary and other reasons we could not continue. We would love to contribute if you need us to do this. We as Christian organisation are struggling for the basic rights and education of our poor,deprived and persecuted community.


Please let us know, if we are of any help to you.

Every blessing,

Kaleem Dean,
Director,
CAP-Ministries,Pakistan.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Here is an image of MEP Jean Lambert from the Green Party. I met with her today and discussed our concerns about Pakistan. She has informed me that she will be meeting with the Pakistani Ambassador to the EU in a months time, and will communicate our concerns to him. Jean has also agreed to encourage the Ambassador to consider a compensation package for the Family of Pervais Masih who sacrificed his life for the 400 Muslim Girls at the International University of Islamabad (mentioned in the previous post). I have heard that a Rs 1,000,000 package has been promised by the Government of Pakistan. I will make a request to Jean that she might obtain a firm plan of action with regards to this compensation and perhaps asks for the Compensation be increased to the value of a house, as single mothers in Pakistan can find teh balanec between work life and childcare very difficult to maintain.

Jean has also indicated an interest in meeting with the leaders in our community and I will be working towards arranging a mutually convenient time.

MEP Claude Moraes indicates support


Above is a recent letter from Labour MEP Claude Moraes. Together we are making the issue of persecution in Pakistan an international affair. Please continue to campaign for justice, equality and peace in Pakistan

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Government of Pakistan Calls Pervais Masih a National Hero!


Read here to learn how a Christian Janitor is now been called a National Hero. Perhaps we should work on commerating his life with a statue or some memorial in Pakistan that will keep alive the story, of how a lowly Christian, sacrificed his life for over 400 Muslim young people. It is acts of great sacrifice, such as these, that will sway Muslim support for equal rights in Pakistan.

We need to mark such incidents indelibly, into the taught history of Pakistan to strengthen our civil rights campaign.

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/11/11/pakistan.hero/

I will set the captives free!

Here is a message From Brother Xavier William I will comment on this later (as I have two meetings today) - I wanted to get the breaking news out as soon as possible:

Today the Sun came out with new hopes in their life for 59 Christians in Pakistan. "Life for All" made an effort to give these people their life back.59 Christians who have been in jails got the news of their freedom 4 days ago by the effort made by "Life for All".

Mr. Rizwan Paul, President "Life for All" presented a petition to the President of Pakistan for the pardon of the Christians who had been falsely accused of minor crimes.President

Mr. Asif Ali Zardari reviewed the petition and approved the release of the prisoners of minor crimes, the President vowed to review the release of the other prisoners after reviewing the nature of their crimes.

Here is the list of the prisoners that were released today:Adyala Jail, Rawalpindi:

1) Shamsher Mashi
2) John Gill
3) Samuel Pervaiz
4) Rana Riaz
5) Shahid Gill
6) Jamshed John
7) Pastor Samuel John
8) Jalal Mashi
9) Peter Riaz
10) Rizwana Kohkar
11) Saqib Adeel
12) David Simon
13) Robert Mashi
14) Asher Bhatti
15) Nadeem Bhatti
16) Rehmat Bhatti
17) Paster Asher Mehanga

Kot Lakhpat jail Lahore:

1) Sohail John
2) Rana Maqsood
3) Mary Aqsa
4) John Sadiq
5) Gorge Mashi
6) Samuel Victor
7) Shahid Anwer
8) David Javed
9) Saleem John
10) Asif John
11) Noman Mashi
12) Joshua Mall
13) Asher John
14) Sadia Yousaf
15) Yousaf Mashi

Sialkot Jail, Sialkot

:1) John Peter
2) Shahid John
3) John Asif
4) Asher Anwer
5) Suleman Gill
6) Shahid Gill
7) Sunil Sabistian
8) Sajid Riaz
9) John Mall

Peshawar Jail:

1) Justin Javed
2) Rana Nawaz
3) Adrish Nawaz Khan
4) Raymond Khan
5) Victor Mall
6) John Rehmat
7) Khalid George
8) Daud George

Karachi Jail:

1) Riaz Javed
2) Reynolds Dean
3) John Mall
4) Sam Mall
5) Shama Gill
6) Daniel Mall
7) Peter Christie
8) David Christie
9) John lala
10) Solomon Gill

Now they are free, they can breath freely and move freely.

Extremely emotional scenes were seen outside the jails when these people were released. The family members were present to greet their loved ones. They thanked "Life for All" for their effort.

The representatives from "Life for All" were present at the respective jails to receive the released. They took the record of the released and then handed over the released to their families.

Still there are more than 2500 Christians in jails all over Pakistan who cannot afford the legal assistance for their release. There are many Church based and Christian/Muslim civil society organizations who claim to provide legal aid assistance to Christians and other poor people but its truth that poor in Pakistan are implicated in false cases and end up in jails for years.

Unfortunately the organizations getting huge sums of funds from foreign donor agencies only follow cases which can give them publicity and poor are left without any legal aid.

Where as "Life for All" did not get any local / foreign aid for the release of these Christians."Life for All" made this effort for the community.

Rizwan stressed that the Christian organizations need to work together for the development of the community.Kindly please publish the news

Regards Xavier

Daily Aftab meeting in Coventry!


A message recieved from Azeem from the Dilay Aftab:

Dear brother in Christ,
Thank you very much for keeping me on your email list. Please find enclosed the invitation from our newspaper. It will be helpful if you can confirm your availability.

Thanks

Azeem

The Daily AFTAB
Quetta/Islamabad Pakistan
Cordially invite you on a programme regarding Situation of minorities in Punjab-Pakistan.

Challenges and opportunities

Chief Guest

Kamran Michael (Minister for Minorities, Women Welfare and Development and Human Rights Govt of Punjab -Pakistan)

At St. Barnabas Church
8 Cromwell Street
Coventry, West Midland
CV6 5EY

on Saturday 28th November 2009 from 3pm to 6pm.

Your presence in this programme will a great pleasure for us.

RSVP

Asif Gill-07877942616
Ashir Anwar-07846024587
Aleem Sardar 07846627400
Javed Inayat-07809543801
Suleman Bhatti-07958425603
Azeem Masih-07737989140
Asif Mall-07737365488

Friday, 13 November 2009

Unsung Hero!

The true diamonds in any crown!


I received notification of a unsung hero in Pakistan. He recently saved the lives of 100's of students in a Pakistani School after he halted a suicide bomber from causing an even bigger incident at the expense of his own life. His family have been left without a bread winner and a charitable scheme is being organised in Pakistan.

A copy of the message sent from Tanweer Akhtar in Pakistan:

"Pervez Masih, age 40, worked as a janitor at an Islamic university in Islamabad. He sacrificed his life to save hundred of innocent female students by stopping a suicide bomber from entering the main hall of the cafeteria. Please pray for his family, especially his 70 year old mother, his widowed wife and 3-year-old daughter Dia."

Read more by following the links below:

http://veritasdomain.wordpress.com/2009/11/11/pervez-masih-pakistani-christian-dies-protecting-hundreds-of-muslim-women-from-muslim-suicide-bomber/

http://blog.siena.org/2009/11/pakistani-catholic-janitor-national.html

http://us.cnn.com/video/?/video/world/2009/11/11/watson.pak.unsung.hero.cnn

Message from Taskeen


Brother Taskeen forwarded this rather positive post today - a must read!:

12 November 2009 17:36

Praise God for Free Speech Victory

Dear Friends and Supporters We are writing with wonderful news of deliverance from the pernicious attempt by the Government last night (11th November) to remove Lord Waddington’s free speech shield from the face of the laws of this land.

In a remarkable debate the House of Lords stood firm against the Government’s fourth attempt to impose its will upon them. Thanks to their steadfastness the vital democratic right to free speech was upheld, the police will have clarity about cases they do not need to investigate and ordinary, peaceful Christians and others who wish to be free to express orthodox Christian views on sexual ethics will not have their freedom so to do unreasonably interfered with.

A short time ago Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor Jack Straw MP, announced that the Commons will not attempt to send this particular question back to the Lords yet again under this Bill. On this basis it would seem that the immediate danger to our vital freedom has passed. However you can be assured that we will be vigilant and will let you know if another assault comes to light.

For now at least though we can thank God for this wonderful victory for Christian freedoms, free speech, democracy and common sense. Thank you all for your prayers on this vital issue. We believe they have availed much.

God bless you all, and thank you for your concern and your support Andrea Minichiello WilliamsChristian Concern for our Nation

http://www.ccfon.org/

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Excellent work!

Although the image above shows an information overload - do follow the links below:


I have been receiving much undue praise for my efforts of late. However, there are people that have put much more energy than I, into the development of information for our community and for the betterment of the quality of life of persecuted Christians in Pakistan:

Follow this link for free access to an internet based Urdu Bible, Bible commentary and much more material (click here).

Follow this link her for access to a prayer map for persecuted Christians across the globe provided by Release International (click here).

I hope this is good reading....?

Message from an annonymous writer

Above an image of foxes book of Martyrs - I am beginning to write one for our own Pakistani Christian Community


I received what is a rather good account of the historic persecution of Christians in Pakistan. Please do view the article and its attachments (please click on underlined words and Numbers below):



In Pakistan 1.5% of the population are Christian. Pakistani law mandates that "blasphemies" of the Qur'an are to be met with punishment.

Ayub Masih, a Christian, was convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to death in 1998. He was accused by a neighbor of stating that he supported British writer, Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses. Lower appeals courts upheld the conviction. However, before the Pakistan Supreme Court, his lawyer was able to prove that the accuser had used the conviction to force Masih's family off their land and then acquired control of the property. Masih has been released.

[53]



Christian communities in Pakistan are the target of attacks by Islamic extremists.[54]

In October 2001, gunmen on motorcycles opened fire on a Protestant congregation in the Punjab, killing 18 people. No-one knows for sure, who the gunmen were, but officials think it might be a banned Islamic group.[55]

In March 2002, five people were killed in an attack on a church in Islamabad, including an American schoolgirl and her mother.[56]

In August 2002, masked gunmen stormed a Christian missionary school for foreigners in Islamabad, six people were killed and three injured. None of those killed were children of foreign missionaries.[57]

In August 2002, grenades were thrown at a church in the grounds of a Christian hospital in north-west Pakistan, near Islamabad, killing three nurses.[58]



On September 25, 2002 two terrorists entered the "Peace and Justice Institute", Karachi, where they separated Muslims from the Christians, and then murdered seven Christians by shooting them in the head.[59][60] All of the victims were Pakistani Christians. Karachi police chief Tariq Jamil said the victims had their hands tied and their mouths had been covered with tape. In December 2002, three young girls were blown apart when hand grenade was thrown into a church near Lahore on Christmas Day.[61]



In November 2005 3,000 militant Islamists attacked Christians in Sangla Hill in Pakistan and destroyed Roman Catholic, Salvation Army and United Presbyterian churches. The attack was over allegations of violation of blasphemy laws by a Pakistani Christian named Yousaf Masih. The attacks were widely condemned by some political parties in Pakistan.[62]

On June 5, 2006 a Pakistani Christian stonemason, Nasir Ashraf, was working near Lahore when he drank water from a public facility using a glass chained to the facility. He was assaulted by Muslims for "Polluting the glass". A mob developed, who beat Ashraf, calling him a "Christian dog". Bystanders encouraged the beating and joined in. Ashraf was eventually hospitalized.[63]



One year later, in August 2007, a Christian missionary couple, Rev. Arif and Kathleen Khan, were gunned down by militant Islamists in Islamabad. The "official" position in Pakistan is that the killer was a fellow Christian, and that the killings were "justified" as an honor killing under the false pretext that the missionaries were engaged in sexual harassment, an assertion widely doubted in the international media, as well as by Pakistani Christians.[64] [65]



In August 2009 six Christians including 4 women and a child were burnt alive by Muslim militants and a church set ablaze in Gojra, Pakistan when violence broke out after alleged desecration of Qu'ran.[66]

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Wilson Meets Prime Minister Gordon Brown again!

Wilson and PM Gordon Brown
Wilson and Louise Casey Director General of the Crime and Justice Department
Prime minister Gordon Brown and winners of a Community Crimefighter Award

Here is an image of Wilson's recent visit to both the Home Office and 10 Downing Street where he was presented with a Community Crimefighter certificate signed by the PM Gordon Brown, Home Secretary Alan Johnson, and Director General of the Crime and Justice Department Louise Casey. The 3 of them also arranged a splendid event at both the Home Office and 10 Downing Street and this was Wilson's second visit as he had previously met with the Prime Minister when he was honoured to be invited to a Business Hero reception at 10 Downing Street in September 2009 for his fortitude in Business and growth in a time of Recession.


Wilson stated:


"Winning a Community Crime Fighter award was a thrilling experience. My community work has always been a primary function and one that I am both committed to and proud of. My father was was of a similar ilk and set this desire to improve the lives of others into my being, through his magnanimous gestures and the excellent example he set. I have big boots to fill but I will continue to strive to emulate his early success such as the initiation of the First Asian Church in the UK and the raft of Local youth clubs he started - many of which still survive today."


Wilson is putting his efforts into working with Pakistani Christian Groups in an attempt to continue the work of the existing leadership, who are working towards equal rights and justice for minority groups, in particular, Christians in Pakistan.

AWAKE!

Click here to enlarge

Here is a message received from Eric Sarwar in Karachi:

Dear Brother Wilson,

Greetings in His precious name who is our constant hope.

"The demand is human heart - hunger.The supply is the grace of God.We are only distributors."

I would like to inform you about our recent album "AWAKE!" ( Utho Aey Jawano) Songs for Youth.This album been dedicated to the persecuted Christians in Pakistan which we are launching on Saturday Dec 4,2009 at Karachi.This album been produced with the burden and sense of weight which has been put on our shoulders to activate and integrate youth ministry in Pakistan.(Poster is attached).

We have planned to launch and distribute this album across the Pakistan to churches, para-churches, Christian schools and institutions through organizing launching ceremonies with the partnership of local churches in major cities of Pakistan.
Before that (TSCM) Tehillim School of Church Music & Worship has produced two albums for children and distributed in Pakistan and beyond in Asian communities and churches.Our Songs for children been selected for their curriculum by OM team International for Dalit's children school project in India.

I am attending our church's General Assembly at Gujranwalla on Nov 18,2009 and during this trip i am distributing this promotional poster to all Presbyterian ministers and meeting with other churches also at Lahore.

Kindly pray for this Youth project and share our burden in prayer to AWAKE youth in Pakistan.
Shalom!


In His Service,

Rev.Eric Sarwar
Director :TSCM
Secretary: Karachi Presbytery of PCP.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Venue found!

The inaugural meeting for the British Pakistani Christian Association will be held from 15:00 - 18:00 at the following venue:

Ley Street Centre
367 Ley Street
Ilford
IG1 4GS

The aim of the meeting is to discuss the forthcoming protest march on the 19th December starting from The Pakistani Embassy and ending at 10 Downing Street. We will also be discussing how to move forward with a steering group that will eventually form an overarching body to all Pakistani Christian Groups and any other important matter raised during - any other business.

Many of you will receive telephone calls during the week to remind and inform you of the event.

Do come as your input and attendance is most warmly welcomed more details (here).

Friday, 6 November 2009

Update from Release International


NEWS & INFORMATION TO HELP YOU PRAY & ACT FOR PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS
RELEASE INTERNATIONAL PRAYER ALERT

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Prayer support is crucial to those who suffer for their faith in Jesus. Please use these alerts to prompt your own prayers, and to facilitate prayer in your church and other Christian meetings. Please also send it on to other Christians. This information can also be reproduced in church magazines and news bulletins, provided the source is acknowledged.

PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS NEED YOU!

Release wants to recruit volunteers from around the UK and Ireland to represent the needs of persecuted Christians to their churches. Could you be a Church Rep? Your core role would be to receive and disseminate information, and encourage prayerful support for the ministry within your church. How you develop the role depends on the time you have to give. Church Reps are a vital part of the Release team. Please prayerfully consider if you can join us – and pray that many others will take on this role too. To find out more, ring Gene on 01689 823491.

1. INDONESIA – 'Homeless' theology college facing closure threat Students from the Arastamar Evangelical Theological Seminary face imminent eviction from a campsite where they took refuge last year after a violent raid on their campus.Hundreds of students have been living in 11 large tents and studying in the open air at the camping ground in East Jakarta for more than a year. They were forced out of their premises in Kampung Pulo, Jakarta, in July 2008 when a mob armed with sharpened bamboo broke in, demanding the college's closure (Prayer Alert, September 2, 2008).For three months, the Jakarta provincial government agreed to pay the college's camping fees – but payments stopped when the college rejected its offer of new premises in Jonggol, West Java, about 30 miles away from the old site. Rev Matheus Mangentang, rector of the Arastamar seminary, refused to move to Jonggol in the belief that obtaining a permit to establish a college there would have been 'extremely difficult'.Campsite officials recently presented the college with a bill for about £171,000 and, at the time of writing, were demanding that the 760 students currently at the site should leave by November 1. Students have been without water and electricity at the campsite for nearly a month – because officials cut off these facilities in protest at non-payment of fees. Sources for Compass Direct news agency say that the students have continued to study enthusiastically.Some 550 other Arastamar students have also been staying in unsuitable accommodation – some of them at a near-derelict former mayor's office in West Jakarta. Many are said to be in poor health because of their unsanitary, overcrowded living conditions. Compass Direct reports that the college could be forced to close unless it can find new premises soon. Rev Mangentang insists the college should be allowed to return to Kampung Pulo.(Source: Compass Direct)• Thank God for the commitment and courage of Arastamar students and staff. • Pray that the college will soon be re-established in good accommodation.

2. ERITREA – Ten more Christians detained by security forcesTen Christians from the same church are in custody after security officials raided the Asmara home of prominent pastor Tewelde Hailom.Officers raided the home of Pastor Tewelde, founding elder of the Full Gospel Church in Asmara, on October 15, according to Mission Network News. During the raid, they arrested Pastor Tewelde's assistant Pastor Samuiel Oqba, a woman named Senait Tekle and a man named Gebreberhane Kifle. Two days later, seven other Christians from the Full Gospel Church were taken into custody – a woman named as Besrat Gebray and six men whose names are not yet known, according to a report by religious rights charity Open Doors Switzerland.Pastor Tewelde, who is suffering from an ulcer, was not taken into custody, apparently because of his frail health, but he remains under house arrest, with guards posted outside his home. It is not known where the ten Christians are being held.(Sources: Mission Network News, Open Doors Switzerland, The Voice of the Martyrs Canada)• Pray for the immediate release of the ten Full Gospel Church members arrested in Asmara last month.• Ask God to strengthen and heal Pastor Tewelde, who is under house arrest.

3. PAKISTAN – Christian mother appears in court on blasphemy chargeThe blasphemy trial of a Christian woman from Punjab has begun amid tearful scenes as she was reunited with her daughters.Asia Bibi, 37, who has been in custody since June 19, was allowed 15 minutes with her husband Ashiq Masih and their daughters before she appeared in court in Sheikhupura. Asia is said to be standing firm in her faith – but her daughters were visibly upset when they were allowed to hug their mother. Her case was adjourned.Asia, who is from Ittanwali, was arrested after allegations that she had blasphemed Islam's prophet Mohammed in a heated discussion about religion with her fellow farmworkers. Asia's family is one of only three Christian families in a village of more than 1,500 families. Meanwhile, also in Punjab, two Christian brothers have claimed that they were tortured by police after being arrested in connection with the violent raid on their village, Gojra, in August. Eleven Christians were killed in the assault (Prayer Alert, August 11, 2009). The two Christian detainees – Naveed and Nauman Masih – were initially arrested on suspicion of 'rioting' and 'spreading terror'. But Release partner Centre for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS) reports that Naveed has now been charged with murder, following the death of a Muslim man severely injured during the Gojra raid. Nauman has been released on bail. CLAAS lawyers have taken up the brothers' case.Speaking from his cell, Naveed told Compass Direct news agency that he and his brother had been starved, beaten and tortured. He claims that police tried to force them to say they had links with terrorist organisations. Nineteen Muslims suspected of involvement in the Gojra attack have been released on bail (Prayer Alert, October 20, 2009).(Sources: CLAAS, Compass Direct, The Voice of the Martyrs Canada, VOM USA) • Pray that Asia Bibi will be acquitted of blasphemy and reunited with her family.• Continue to pray for justice for the Christians of Gojra.

4. CHINA – Yet more Fushan Church leaders arrested in ShanxiPublic Security Bureau officials are keeping up the pressure on the Fushan Church in Linfen city – detaining ten more of its members and blacklisting its leaders.Last month, officials offered to release ten leaders of Fushan Church in Shanxi province who were arrested on September 25. The Christians were detained after protesting about their church compound being demolished in a violent raid by police and officials (Prayer Alert, October 20, 2009). Dozens of church members were left seriously injured.But when the detained Christian leaders learned that officials intended to hold one of their number, Pastor Yang Rongli, 'until further notice', they refused to leave jail without her.Officials retaliated by detaining Pastor Yang's younger sister Yang Linli for six days, ransacking another pastor's home and arresting ten more leaders. Pastor Yang was then formally accused of 'illegal building and disturbing the social order' – as was another leader, Hua Mei. Five other church leaders were sentenced to criminal detention (a penalty for relatively minor offences, served out in a 'detention house' rather than in jail) – though three of them have since been released on parole. Nineteen members of Fushan Church are believed still to be in custody.Meanwhile, Release has learned that Beijing pastor Hua Huiqi was released on October 10 after being forcibly removed from Beijing for the Communist Party's 60th anniversary celebrations last month (Prayer Alert, October 6, 2009). Pastor Hua, who was arrested on September 17, was warned by police on his release that his 13-year-old daughter would be harmed if he 'caused any trouble'. Pastor Hua has appealed to Christians worldwide to pray for his ailing mother, Shuang Shuying, who has been persecuted and imprisoned in the past allegedly over her son's ministry. Another of Shuang's sons Hua Huilin, Pastor Hua's brother, is dying of cancer, according to Release partner China Aid.(Sources: China Aid, Lectlaw.com, The Voice of the Martyrs Canada)• Pray for the immediate release of all Fushan Church members. Pray that this church will have a powerful ministry in Shanxi.• Pray for Pastor Hua and the whole of his family, especially his mother Shuang. Ask God to uphold them and surround them with His love amid all their trials.

Our next Prayer Alert issue will be on Tuesday, November 17, 2009.Through our international network of missions, we serve persecuted Christians in 30 countries around the world by supporting pastors and Christian prisoners, and their families; supplying Christian literature and Bibles; and working for justice.

Release is a member of the UK organisations Global Connections, the Evangelical Alliance and the Micah Network.Release International, PO Box 54, Orpington, BR5 9RT, UK Tel: 01689 823491General enquiries: info@releaseinternational.org Website address: www.releaseinternational.orgRegistered charity 280577

Thursday, 5 November 2009


Here is an email received from brother Xavier Williams (sic):

"The President "Life for All" Mr. Rizwan Paul presented the petitions to the President of Pakistan - Mr. Asif Ali Zardari for repelling the Blasphemy Law immediately so that the lives and the property of the Christians in Pakistan can be saved. The law has been used as a tool against the Christians and countless lives have been lost due to this heinous power.

Mr. Rizwan Paul also demanded the immediate arrest of the culprits who are responsible for the deaths of the innocent Christians so that incidents like Shanti Nagar, Gojra and Kasur be avoided.

The second petition was for the pardon for over 250 Christians who have been falsely accused of Blasphemy and are in different jails in Pakistan under Section 295 B/C. And around 3000 Christians falsely accused of minor crimes.

The President has said that he will review the petitions and will respond accordingly in next few days."

Regards Xavier

A reader of this blog (not Xavier) has intimated (in a personal email) that all this political manoeuvring seems futile and worthless and that we should coordinate all our energies into a charitable project for inflicted areas. I disagree, although I agree that charitable capacity building and restoration work is needed and should be a priority - there is also a distinct need to alter things politically. We must use every tool before us to resolve the crises. The same commentator also stated that he had personally seen the disaster in a visit to Pakistan and that the visit made the situation real to him. I understand how such activity can cause a cathartic response releasing the pent up frustrations our community has for such persecution of our people. However, could not this money have been utilised more usefully by giving it to the major disaster organisations already working in Pakistan?


My epiphany occurred after I saw the professionally designed BBC images of the destruction, read the accounts from local people and went to the protest marches and proudly recognised our community was galvanising. We need to keep up this impetus and I implore readers to approach international governments, the European Commission the UN and other bodies for peace to be restored in an increasingly intolerant Pakistan.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Music to my ears!

Click on images to enlarge
Here is a message and flyers for the Central Church Youth Fellowship Music Contest in Karachi - in the words of Michael Peter (sic):
Dear All,

Good Morning to you all in the name of Jesus Christ.

Our GOD is the GOD of Time all HE does is on HIS suggested & decided time, so is the time decided by HIM for our 28th Annual Musical Competition (Christmas Carol’s).

Venue: Central Brooks Memorial Church, 74-Garden Road Saddar Karachi -74400
Date: Saturday 07-11-09 07:00 pm Auditions and Grande Finale on Saturday 28-11-09
Registration fee for Auditions Rs 200/- for Solo & Rs 300/- for Groups/Choirs (Non-refundable)
See contact sheet and flyer at top of this post

Central Church Youth Fellowship (CCYF) is holding another program on the Birthday of our Jesus Christ to Praise HIM to thank HIM for coming in this SINFUL WORLD to save all of us.
Most of you know about the Christmas Carol Competition organize by CCYF every year those who don’t Please see the attached file & get to know the arrangements’ God has made for you all to come & JOIN HIM in the Birthday Celebration of HIS Beloved SON (JESUS CHRIST).
It’s an humble request to you to view the attached pamphlet & join us in this occasion with all the Enthusiasm & Spiritual preparation.

Regards

Michael Peter
-
I am really glad that our readership involves people in Pakistan and the UK and wider countries as it shows that our endeavours are having a very profound affect.
You can learn more about the organisation arranging the competition "Central Brooks Memorial Church" by clicking (here)

Bind us together Lord - with cords that cannot be broken!


The BPCA is arranging a public meeting on the 14th November 2009 from 15:00 - 18:00. The venue is still to be confirmed.


The Aim of the meeting is to unite our people in one voice against the persecution of our brothers and sisters in Pakistan.


I list our aims inter alia;


  • To unite our people under one banner and take the next steps in forming an overarching body that can co-ordinate and enhance the work of the plethora of organisations serving our community. This follows on from the excellent work of brother Pervaiz in Nottingham. Perhaps we could agree a group name and elect potential candidates for the steering group and agree to draft a constitution?

  • To discuss what we aim to achieve from the protest march arranged for the 19th December and how others can help and be involved, whilst finalising the more intricate detail.

  • To facilitate a platform for other groups to detail their own projects and how people can be involved - so please contact us if you would like to speak or present your project at our meeting.

  • To explain the aims of the BPCA and create a best practice sharing vehicle amongst groups to espouse growth and opportunity for all.

I should add that the event will also be a time of fellowship and worship and if you would like to perform or share more spiritual learning with us, we would like to provide the platform. However, please do understand that any groups and preaching will be limited to 5- 10 minute slots as the priority will be set according to the objectives.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

International Minorities Conference 2009.

I have been sent details of a forthcoming conference in Pakistan:

International Minorities Conference 2009

Loyola Hall,28 Waris Road Lahore Date(s): Dec 12, 2009 - Dec 13, 2009

The slogan “first of all Pakistan” employs that all the people living in the country are Pakistanis without any consideration of color, race or religion and that all of them have equal human rights and are entitled to substantive citizenship as per the vision of country’s founding fathers. The events of the last 63 years in Pakistan with reference to religious minorities have been very discouraging Unfortunately the minorities have not been given full political and civil rights in Pakistan and there are a number of basic issues and fundamental concerns that still need to be addressed.

In Pakistan, the minorities have been reduced to the level of second rate citizens, discriminatory laws, selective criteria, social biases and prejudiced ideologies have made the existence of the minority communities most miserable ,there is great urge for democratic ,just,pluralist and tolerant society. To discuss and deliberate the future of minorities in Pakistan, International Minorities Alliance(IMA)is organizing a first Three days International Minorities Conference on December 12,13 2009.

We are Expecting a whole Galaxy, of political leaders ,social ,human rights activists and prominent Minorities especially Christians leaders all over the globe, to descend on Lahore for the conference.We will be honored if you will attend the conference and participate in it’s deliberation.Join this noble cause, our demand is simple, Equal Citizenship….Equal Rights…..Venue:Loyola Hall,28 Waris Road Lahore.

For further Information please contact:
Mr Nazir Qaiser, Chairman(IMA)
Fr Ayub Francies (USA)
Mr Jeem Phey Ghuri(Italy)
Mr Kaleem Sadiqe
Mr Yasar Barkat Khokhar
Mr Tamoor Sandhu(RSA)