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PAKISTAN: Sunny Gill, a talented Pakistani Photo Journalist has often been highlighted by multiple media outlets. If you have read articles pertaining to Christians in Pakistan, you most likely have seen his work.
Since 2009 he has worked with international and national press agencies. Gill has filmed documentaries covering the horrific attack on the Christian town of Gojra in Pakistan, the 2010 and 2011 floods in Pakistan, a documentary on the necessity of education for Christians in Pakistan and helped an Italian journalist in making a documentary about persecuted Christians of Pakistan.
He is also a correspondent for UCA NEWS, including serving as a volunteer with weekly Christian Voice Newspaper which is published from Karachi Diocese Pakistan. Gill worked for Gawahi television, a Christian television channel from 2010 until 2012 as a Host/Photographer.
This gifted young, photo journalist has been a powerful activist for Pakistani Christians, standing up for those taken advantage of, assaulted and oppressed in the Christian faith. He has held positions with organizations such as the Pakistan Christian Congress (Youth leader), All Pakistan Christian League-one of the largest Christian political parties in Pakistan and NGO’S like World Vision in progress, LTN Canada, including others. Boldly, this young man has been a voice for persecuted Christians, while others have remained silent.
Due to his work, he has often been threaten. He shared with VOP,
“It’s common for journalists to receive threats in a country like Pakistan. Due to many threats, I left my city and again in 2012 had to move out of my house to relocate. I never expected that someone could become so vengeful that they would stop me and point a gun at me. I was blessed and believe prayer is what saved me from injury and spared my life. Thankfully, a police squad was coming down the road and the attackers quickly sped away on their motorcycles.”
Sunny explained to Voice of the Persecuted that this was not the first time he has escaped a threatening incident. This time he finds himself in the same hornet’s nest of the many he was called to assist in the past. On the sound advice of those in his circles, Sunny Gill has been asked to stop his protests for the faithful and go into hiding. They believe his situation at this point is dire and to continue this work may mean the loss of his life. For now he is at a safe place, but has no where else to turn and is looking for help. Though he is an accomplished photographer and cameraman, is now unable to find work and worried how he will support his wife and himself. He also fears for his family and consequences they may face.
It is devastating how a vibrant young Christian with the ability to have a future in a good career and the desire to help others, has been attacked to the point of poverty by a group with a radical agenda. They mean to silence him and to stomp out Christianity, while they treat Christians as less than human. Too many times, this is the price and heartbreaking story of the courageous who will stand up against those who would abuse the innocent and helpless. For those who can not speak for themselves and the rights of all who are destitute. (Proverbs 31:8)
Also, many turn their backs on these strong witnesses for Christ, leaving them to fend for themselves. We have become poor examples of our early first century Christian family. They hardly went hungry, because the rest shared all they had with each other.
We must keep this young brother and his family in our prayers. Pray that they will stay safe under the Lord’s protection and Mr. Gill will find the help he needs for daily survival.
(BBC) Pakistan’s elections are being called the bloodiest ever. But that’s not the only reason why they stand apart.
There’s another message on the back of black T-shirted elite anti-terrorism police – NO FEAR, in bold white capital letters.
And it’s not just well-trained muscled gunmen at campaign rallies who want to say they’re not afraid.
Leaders of three political parties, publicly threatened by Pakistani Taliban, or TTP, stood shoulder-to-shoulder and announced this week they would not be cowed by their threats of violence.
Not a day goes by without election attacks and deaths on the front pages of Pakistani newspapers.
Despite that, opinion polls are indicating there could be a record turnout, higher than the 44% in the last elections in 2008.
That’s partly because of a surge in young voters. An estimated 31% of the electorate is between the ages of 18 and 29.
“You could say these are the first youth elections,” writer and former Pakistani Ambassador Maleeha Lohdi told the BBC. “There’s also a new enthusiasm among all voters which is good news for Pakistan.”
As we start our Pakistan election coverage, we’ve attended election meetings and rallies in the capital Islamabad and in the most populous and relatively peaceful Punjab province.
Party leaders like Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan make a point of removing bullet-proof glass shields from their speaker podiums to address large crowds now being held back at a safer distance.
“It’s better to have eye-to-eye contact,” PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif told me before one rally this week in Sarghoda in Punjab.
“We’re still going door to door, shop to shop, where we can,” said Shafqat Mahmood, a candidate for Imran Khan’s PTI party in the city of Lahore.
Campaign organizers admit they’ve had to cancel rallies planned for volatile cities like Karachi in the south, or in the northwest close to the tribal areas, for security reasons.
Some parties, including the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), are being accused of using the threat of violence as an excuse for lacklustre campaigns and what’s expected to be their dismal performance in some areas on polling day – the more usual danger in democracy.
But the danger of violence is all too real. In sensitive areas like Balochistan province, there are reports some election workers don’t want to man polling stations because they fear for their lives.
The Pakistan army has announced 70,000 troops will be deployed in four provinces on election day, along with thousands of police and other security forces.
The 11 May election will be not just one of Pakistan’s most important elections. It will also mark another decisive showdown between forces determined to shape this country through violence, and those who still believe the ballot box matters in trying to resolve Pakistan’s growing crises.
Lyse Doucet’s reports from Pakistan will feature on BBC World News and Newsnight next week.
Pakistan Christian Congress concerned
LARKANA: Dr. Nazir S Bhatti has said that the Pakistan Christian Congress (PCC) is a true voice of over 2 million Pakistani Christians and they are not a raw material for Muslim political parties, nor an agent of establishment of Christian groups in Pakistan that bargain on principal for vested interests.
The President of PCC after the meetings with the EU Election Observer Team, he met with officers of the Pakistan Christian Congress in Pakistan. The EU Team contacted the PCC Secretariat for such meetings after PCC’s boycott of Elections 2013 and heard their genuine issues on the occasion.
The PCC vows to support every force which wants Pakistan to be Pakistan of Quaid-e-Azam, stated the Central Executive Council of Pakistan Christian Congress. (Quaid-e-Azam – meaning great leadership)
The PCC discussed the situation of rising terrorist activities during the elections in Sindh, KPK and Baluchistan provinces of Pakistan. It is an alarming situation.
The leaders of the PCC passed a resolution condemning bomb blasts, killing of political activists, attacks on different candidates among Independent Candidates, MQM, ANP and the PPP in three provinces and to destroy election offices of particular political groups.
PCC in a meeting, after their decision to boycott election 2013, was termed as in national interests and for the safe Pakistan of Quaid-e-Azam which is under threat by extremists.
PCC President Dr. Nazir S Bhatti said that PCC had expressed grave concern on the visit of Egyptian President Morsi who leads Muslim brotherhood in Egypt, to Pakistan before the elections. He feared that his visit is part of a conspiracy to impose Salafist Islam in Pakistan.
Mr. Bhatti clarified that Christians have the winning vote bank in 69 seats of the National Assembly of Pakistan and their boycott of the elections will block way of PML (N) and PTI to come in power and conspire to impose Salafist Islam in Pakistan.
The Pakistan Christian Congress- PCC chief assured that religious minorities can play a positive role to block conspiracies.