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(Voice of the Persecuted) November 21, 2017- This morning, VOP was notified that the Thai immigration police raided a condominium in Inthamara 44, Soi Pracha Suk, Din Daeng Distrcit in Bangkok and arrested a Pakistani Christian family.
Mr. Asif Ghouri, his wife along with their 3 grown children, son (Alisha Asif) and two daughters (Rebecca and Jasmine), were arrested during the raid around 3pm (local time).
Mr. Asif was surprised with a knock on the door and when they opened it, the officers were there along with journalists to record their arrest. The family was asked to show proof of identity, either passports or UNHCR cards. Their case had been dismissed by the UNHCR in the mid of 2017, hence their cards had been taken away. The UNHCR deemed they would be safe in Pakistan despite it being the 4th most dangerous country for Christians.
The police pressured them into showing proof of their identity. Mr. Asif had no choice but to give them their passports with no updated visas to stay in Thailand as they were living with UNHCR cards since 2014. Ultimately, the family was taken to the Immigration Detention Center (IDC) where they will live in misery and despair, fed nothing but a soupy mixture of cucumber and boiled rice. Based on the UNHCR decision in their case, the family won’t have any chance of being resettled to another country as all UNHCR portals would be inaccessible. They have no other option than to wait while fighting the feelings of hopelessness in finding freedom soon.
The IDC already hosts about 150 Pakistani Christian asylum seekers and refugees. Their arrest would make matters worse as they will have to struggle for space inside. Last month, about 35 refugees from Pakistan and Somalia were arrested from Bangkok including 12 children and 7 unaccompanied minors.
The Thai government claims it to be a crackdown on illegal people who are illegally employed. However, our correspondent in Thailand confirms that neither Mr. Asif nor the 35 arrested last month were working illegally in Thailand. This situation is truly alarming and the people need your prayers.
The actions by the Thai government should be condemned. The issue should be brought to the MPs to do more to bring the persecuted brothers and sisters to the United States and other countries. These countries should also step up to condemn this brutal act against our brothers and sisters in Christ.
UPDATE Dec. 4, 2017:
Elias Asif ( arrestrd with the family last week) Fiaz Masih ( arrested from Pratunam Market, Phaya Thai District) Asher Ryan ( arrested from outside his apartment at Vivid Tower Pattanakarn 54 district Suan luang).
Two more Pakistani Christians were arrested on Friday, Dec. 1, 2017
Please remember Pakistani Christian refugees seeking asylum in Thailand. Day by day, their situation grows more volatile with greater risks of arrest.
VOP is on the ground in Thailand. Together with your generous help, 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. Please consider our mission, this Christmas, to help care for a family and bring much needed supplies and nutrition to those suffering in the notorious IDC.
HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED
Every day, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and to 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 send your gift to:
2740 Third St
P.O. Box 122
Trenton, MI. 48183
Donations always desperately needed
(Voice of the Persecuted) This morning, we were notified by our partners in Thailand that over 200 Christian asylum seekers have been caught by Thai authorities during a raid in Bangkok. Women, children, nursing mothers, the elderly and sick were among those arrested.
The Thai government does not have a working relationship with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. They do not recognize the Asylum Seeker certificates issued to these refugees by the UNHCR. Persecuted Pakistani Christians go to Thailand because it is easier to obtain a visa, or they cannot afford to go further. Many are unaware of the dreadful living conditions, or the lengthy process of receiving asylum status—not measured in months, but years simply to get an interview. The entire process can be as long as 6 years before placement into another country.
During the wait, their visa’s expire and they become illegals who are constantly at risk of being arrested and put into the horrific conditions of the Thai detention centers. Unable to legally get a work permit, the little funds they have is quickly depleted and they are forced to beg or starve. If they choose to find illegal work, they are at even greater risk of detention and possibly deportation. Persecuted Christians deported back to Pakistan are in danger of a prison sentence, or losing their lives at the hands of extremists.
Until the UNHCR grants them refugee status and resettles them in another country, they are living a nightmare. They describe it as leaving one hell for another.
VOP NOTE TO PAKISTANI CHRISTIANS: PLEASE DO NOT GO TO THAILAND WHEN SEEKING ASYLUM! You will not receive basic aid from the UNHCR and end up in an unbearable situation.
We will keep you updated as reports come in. PLEASE PRAY and ask others to pray with you!
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