(Voice of the Persecuted) This week, world leaders from across the globe are meeting in the US. Iran & Thailand were topics of discussion that we paid particular attention to. Words from both countries, were carefully orchestrated to show the world that they were deserving of new positions on the world stage. Both countries are trying to show they are in favor of democracy and freedom, but the actions of both countries tell a different story.
Thailand is putting forth that they are caring for migrant workers to keep them from human trafficking. Things are not what it appears on the surface. A world tourism hotspot, Thailand has seen recent numbers falling, and with good reason. They are steeped in human trafficking and human rights abuses. You might recall the Government of Thailand is under great scrutiny as investigations have implicated Thai state officials and many others for their involvement in human trafficking networks.
Thailand is not the sole purpose of this report, but a huge factor. They are arresting Christians fleeing persecution in Pakistan. Christians who are not ‘economic refugees but bonafide persecuted. These Christians escape to Thailand because visa’s can be easily obtained and is economically easier for them to travel there. They’re seeking religious freedom without fear of being abused or killed for their faith in Christ.
Upon arrival, they immediately apply with the UNHCR for asylum. They’re given asylum seeker certificates and interview dates, but Asylum seekers in Thailand normally wait up to 3 1/2 years or longer for their cases to be processed by the UNHCR office. Thailand does not have a working relationship with the UNHCR and refuses to recognize the valid documents given to these asylees. Most are financially unable to continually renew their visas. When the asylees travel visas expires, normally 6 months, they become illegals in the eyes of the Thai government. They come trusting the UNHCR for protection, but soon find the organization powerless in Thailand.
Adding to their stress, waiting periods of mere months between applying for refugee status and their Refugee Status Determination (RSD) interview now see extremely long delays. When an interview dates approaches, the UNHCR office often postpones them another year. This was recently the case of one who was nearly assassinated multiple times in Pakistan. They’re also not allowed a work permit without status. If found in the labor force, they will be arrested. If caught as an illegal, they are detained in the inhumane conditions of the Immigration Detention Centre (IDC). Recently authorities began penalizing them under the criminal penal law of Thailand. Many have been incarcerated together with criminals in the Central Jail, with no exceptions or special treatment provided to women or children. These Christians are at risk of being sent back to Pakistan, putting them in grave danger. Delays and the inability of the UNHCR to work with the Thai government for their protection, leaves them vulnerable to abuse, extortion and bribery, and extended suffering as they wait in hiding. The global community, world leaders and the UN body are mainly silent on the targeting of these Pakistani Christians.
We hear many heartbreaking stories during interviews with these refugee’s. Threatened with death in their homeland, entire families in danger if they speak out, and no way to support their families in hiding.
Pakistan portrays itself to the US and UN as a vital ally in the fight against terrorism—the Taliban. Since 2002, Pakistan has received about $1 billion a year under a U.S. program meant to reimburse it for costs incurred fighting militants near the Afghan border. This year, $1.1 billion.
Pakistan is one of the worst persecutors against religious minorities, particularly Christians. The internationally known case of Asia Bibi who maintains she was falsely charged with blasphemy, is currently awaiting an appeal for her death sentence. Her crime? Defiling a well by drinking from it and refusing to convert to Islam. Many Pakistani Muslim’s believe Christians are unclean due to their faith. Even being forced to drink from separate glasses deemed for infidels. The persecution against them can be fierce.
World watch monitor reports that 23 cases of Blasphemy have been unreported in Pakistan in the last 2 years and show’s the suffering and abuse these Christians face. They state: “Napoleon Qayyum, a Christian politician from the Pakistan People’s Party said that despite evidence, police in the Punjab province often protect Christians from communal violence, those who have been accused of blasphemy are usually forced to relocate, leaving their homes and families behind.” Those relocating are finding themselves held hostage by the host countries unable to provide for their family. (Read more)
“We want freedom!” This cry is heard from many Pakistani Christians who’ve fled extreme abuse. We hear over and over, “I had good job—was well off.” One lamented, “One day a Muslim took offense because I simply asked they use polite language instead of cursing in our presence, then everything changed.” He was then accused of desecrating the Quran on a trumped up charge, simply for demanding they respect and not curse. When a court ruled him innocent, mobs formed and multiple lives were lost, but his was saved. That day changed his life and that of his family forever. It ruined his livelihood, caused so much devastation and suffering for many. This family fled leaving behind shredded dreams, and a life that is only now a distant memory. Forced to live in hiding, squalor and begging for food.
Often, Blasphemy charges are wrongfully used against them.
They drink from wells that Muslim’s own, and they are attacked for contaminating their water by from drinking from it. Mobs often form, wielding axes, rifles, sticks and stones. Christians are beaten, burned alive, dragged naked through streets, and left for dead. The police rarely interfere and often release the perpetrators with no penalties or accountability. This is not a single incident, it’s widespread and growing. Pakistan’s government is based on religion. A religion, government, justice system and economic system all rolled into one. It’s called Sharia. The religious political party has great influence and seems to supercede any other form of Government. Christians are not instigating violence, rioting, burning or pillaging. They’re conducting business, worship and education and trying to live peaceful lives, just as we are here. But one day hear, “Stop talking about Christ and convert to Islam or be killed.” …their nightmare it begins.
In the last couple of days, the Pakistani Army has started warning Christians, churches and other Christian institutions in Pakistan presumably on the basis of intelligence, that ISIS is likely to start attacks. that they are likely to face a wave of attacks from ISIS soon. Read More
Another Pakistani Christian who also had a good job, was fired for his continued belief and sharing the Gospel. He was involved with a mission to reach out to Christians less fortunate and educate them in the Gospel of Christ. He led a Youth Ministry so they would know Christ, the Bible and Christian moral values. He was beaten, told to stop witnessing, convert to Islam or die. His family members also became targets for his Christian activities, which is a common practice by hardliners. These hardliners influenced his employer and he was fired from his job. Prior to the persecution, he’d was a valued employee and excelled at his job for years. He too was forced to leave the country.
They repeat, “We’re not beggars, we’re educated, hard working people. Why have they done this to us? We want to work and live in peace, we just want Freedom!
How can the church of Christ allow their suffering to continue? Why aren’t we doing more to care for our own? Why do we turn our heads and expect secular governments and organization to come to their rescue? As the church in Germany during the Holocaust, why do we turn up the worship music, so we can’t hear their cries? Not enough churches, or brethren are stepping up for the wounded in the Body. They need our help, our voice.
Yes, we are commissioned to spread the Gospel, and we wholeheartedly encourage that mission, but when we turn a blind eye to genocide and suffering of our own brethren, God is not pleased. In fact we are warned about this in Matthew 25.
Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
Many of those who’ve fled have families left behind. Families that are living in fear that if they are discovered, they will be killed. Many have left parents, children and wives behind while their asylum cases are put on hold for years. Knowing they continue to be abuse and live in fear causes more pain and sorrow. Or astronomical amounts of money is demanded to show they can be cared for. As in this country, illegals have poured across our border by the millions and are immediately given housing, welfare, medical and free education. One person witnessed a call where a Muslim woman said to the person other end, “Yes, if you come here to have your baby, it will all be paid for.”
While Christian asylees in Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand are treated as sub human, ashamed and having to beg for housing, and food from whomever will hear them. Well, I too will beg for them, their support and their human rights.
They tell us some groups sensationalize their stories, even making money from their reports and in so doing feed off the backs of the persecuted and even putting them in danger for mentioning their names and locations. They make promises, but they see little to no help. This is appalling and it’s appalling to them.
We are the church, we are the body of Christ, and we are failing our brethren miserably. We are failing to care for own. Even failing to pray! Recently an advocate asked a pastor if his church prayed for the persecuted. His reply, “We’re not led in that direction.” We’ve also heard, “it’s not an easy topic to discuss, they may run for the hills.” Having a heart for the persecuted, we can’t help but feel this is blatantly ignoring the commands of Jesus to care for one another.
In conversations with Christians, it’s shocking how many don’t know that Christians are being persecuted in these times, even with all the media coverage. Often, they ask many questions and want to know more. We ask if they would like to hear more about these cases from their pastors and pray together for them. They always say YES!
Please, start a conversation, ask your church why they are not covering persecution and attempting to aid our brethren. Many churches have wonderful mission for the communities—food shelves, thrift stores and other programs. But why not once a month donating pocket change to help our brethren in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Pakistan, Nigeria and around the globe? Why not engage with them in letters, on facebook, or any form of social media. This is their life line. Why not, speak out for them, why not encourage them, why not pray for them? Why not indeed. I’m begging you to help in whatever way you can. God will lay on your heart what you can do. Not everyone has money, but you have time, you have words, you can speak. Beg for them, pray for them, encourage others to pray with you. Demand that our politicians recognize the Christian genocide and help those seeking FREEDOM! God will bless you for taking up this cause.
Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.”
- For protection, strength, courage and God’s favour for Pakistani Christians
- That God will thwart any plans of ISIS to wage terror against Christians or other minorities
- The army will fully protect Christians and other minorities from attacks
- UK and other western nations will finally wake up and realise that Pak-Christians desperately need their protection and asylum
Together with your generous support, we can reach the goal to alleviate horrific suffering. In darkness and desperation, let us serve in love, with open arms and giving hands to provide light and hope.
Everyday, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and further His Kingdom! As you greatly bless others, may God continue to bless you. Thank you so much for your support. We couldn’t do it without you!
You may also mail your gift to:
2740 Third St
P.O. Box 122
Trenton, MI. 48183