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Merry Christmas from the Voice of the Persecuted Team

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2:12-14(KJV)

Rejoice! In the name of the Lord, Rejoice!

In the words of Corrie Ten Boom, “Who can add to Christmas? The perfect motive is that God so loved the world. The perfect gift is that He gave His only Son. The only requirement is to believe in Him. The reward of faith is that you shall have everlasting life.”

The true joy of Christmas is in the everlasting love of Christ.

All over the world, persecuted believers are worshiping God for the greatest gift ever given to mankind. They count their suffering worthy to be in Him as part of the Body of Christ. As we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, please take a moment to remember and pray for those who are suffering in the name of Jesus.

This Christmas, let us reflect not on the trials, but on all God’s blessings in our lives. Let us praise the Lord for His faithfulness to give hope to the afflicted, to bind up the brokenhearted, bring liberty to captives and life to the lost. We thank God for comforting all who mourn, giving them strength and peace instead of mourning, and the ability to praise instead of a spirit of fainting. He is always with us in the storm.

Though nothing we could ever give or do will compare to the rescue mission of Christ, because of your prayers and faithful support, persecuted believers have been given hope. From all of us at Voice of the Persecuted and on behalf of persecuted believers, thank you for standing with us in the mission! We pray for the Lord’s guidance and the ability to do more in the coming year.

To all our persecuted brothers and sisters, our advocates and workers in the field, to all friends of Voice of the Persecuted—and to you who have supported our ministry and make it possible for us to care for our persecuted family… MERRY CHRISTMAS!

May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all through the year.

From all of us at the Voice of the Persecuted, God bless you!

Voice of the Persecuted

Thai Immigration Police arrest Pakistani Christian asylum seekers, refugees and children

Pakistani Christian asylum seekers, refugees and children arrested Oct. 9, 2018

Voice of the Persecuted — Children of persecuted Pakistani Christians in Thailand woke up to the wailing sounds of their parents as Immigration police broke through their doors around 7 a.m. this morning. Immigration police raided Suppamas Mansion (apartment building) in Charan Sanitwong 8 and about 30 families were rounded up from their rooms and taken to the Immigration Detention Center (IDC) at Suan Phlu road in Bangkok. Approximately 80 people including 30 children and 50 adults have been reportedly arrested in that raid.

Pakistani Christian refugees and asylum seekers arrested with their children at apartment building located at Charan Sanitwong soi 8 in Bangkok Thailand CLICK to view larger image

Voice of the Persecuted (VOP) began receiving urgent reports from our Thailand Representative, Christian Malik, while the raids were taking place. We were able to send out an alert to inform Pakistani Christian asylum seekers and refugees to stay indoors and out of sight. We also asked others to begin praying for them.

Among those arrested is Robin Victor, a father of three young children, who is a dialysis patient and is treated every 48 hours on a dialysis machine. We are gravely concerned that if he is not released his health may quickly deteriorate. Over the course of three years, approximately three people have died in the IDC due to medical illnesses. If appropriate action isn’t taken in time, Mr. Victor’s life could be in danger.

Immigration police continued its advance, far and beyond within Bangkok, and conducted two further raids in the evening hours. A building was raided in the Minburi District and about 9 people were arrested. One of those arrested is Tariq Gill, along with his two sisters, who received aid through VOP’s relief program for a few months in 2015 until an Australian church began covering their expenses.

Another apartment building was raided at Phet Kasem 77 in Bang Wa District and several people were detained. The exact figure for this raid is unidentifiable as Immigration authorities quickly took away their mobile phones.

Among other advancements, Immigration police cancelled the visas of Mr. X and Mr. Y. [ names withheld ] Mr. X is over 50 years old and had a retirement visa which he renewed 2 weeks ago, whereas Mr. Y had a non-B visa which he had recently obtained. The visas were rejected on the grounds that Mr. Y could speak Thai despite being in the country for a short period of time, while Mr. X, who had stayed legally in the country for the past 5 years, couldn’t explain how he fulfilled the requirements for his retirement visa. Voice of the Persecuted would like to acknowledge Mr. X for being one of those who has helped our relief mission, Project 133, to deliver aid such as food, toiletries, baby formula and diapers to those suffering inside the IDC. He has done so graciously without the expectation of anything in return. May the Lord bless and have mercy on this faithful servant.

Approximately 100 people have been arrested in raids across Bangkok today and more successive raids could follow. Many of those arrested are recognized refugees protected under International law.

The raids are a result of Thailand’s Immigration policy to eliminate illegal immigrants within the country. Unfortunately refugees and asylum seekers are also considered illegal as Thailand has not ratified the UNHCR Refugee treaty. Their asylum cases filed with the UNHCR, nor their UNHCR asylum cards are not considered by the government.

Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan yesterday instructed Pol Maj-General Surachate Hakparn, Thailand’s acting Immigration Bureau chief to crack down on foreigners overstaying their visas…….”

This recent news report, read here, shows that the Thai Immigration authorities have increased their crackdown and will continue to raid and arrest illegals for the coming month. Unfortunately, our brothers in Christ will be affected and suffer even more.

Please continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ and that God may be with them through this difficult time.

Some are asking why the Thailand authorities would do something like this. Thailand, a popular tourist hot spot, had been one of the major destinations for Christians fleeing persecution in Pakistan. But many came without the full knowledge of the dangers that lie ahead. Thailand, not being a signatory of the UN 1951 Refugee Convention, regularly arrests asylum seekers and refugees. They are not distinguished from other immigrants, legal or illegal, even having UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) documents. In Thailand, all immigrants without valid documents are seized by the authorities and detained in the Immigration Detention Center (IDC). Often times, those arrested are first taken to the Central Jail and incarcerated along side those convicted of murder, rape and other serious crimes. We are expecting bail will be needed to keep many out of the Central Jail, approx. $100-$200 U.S. depending on the Judge. We are hoping for the ability to keep some from going to this dangerous place. However, this does not prevent them from being detained in the IDC.

At this time, bail is being denied for those in the IDC. They are forced to stay in it’s horrid conditions until they choose to self-deport. Hundreds are in the notorious Immigration Detention Center and some living in the deplorable situation for several years. The Immigration Detention Center is designed to hold about 50 detainees at a time. We approximate that before the latest raids there were 180 Pakistani’s, not including other nationalities, being held in the IDC. These large numbers lead to lack of space, sanitation and serious health concerns. They are at risk of contracting highly infectious diseases such as, tuberculosis, skin infections, among other air/water borne illnesses. They’re malnourished due to a diet of nothing more than mix of soupy rice and cucumber. Babies and children are not offered milk and they solely relying on outside help to sustain them.

this child was helped through your generosity

Please pray for them to remain steadfast in holding onto their faith. VOP is on the ground in Thailand. Join hands with us to spread the love of Jesus.  Please consider helping our mission to cover these expenses and donate, today. Nutritional items, baby milk and diapers will be high on the list of needs. We may not be able to cover all expenses, but let us cover as many as we can! Your donations, whether large or small, aid in our ability to carry out this mission and are gratefully appreciated by our persecuted family. Go with us to Thailand through your blessings to share with these dear brothers and sisters who have suffered so much. Keep us in your prayers as we try to raise the needed funds for the relief mission.

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

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.

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!

Merry Christmas from Voice of the Persecuted, Rejoice!

 

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2:12-14(KJV)

Rejoice! In the name of the Lord, Rejoice!

In the words of Corrie Ten Boom, “Who can add to Christmas? The perfect motive is that God so loved the world. The perfect gift is that He gave His only Son. The only requirement is to believe in Him. The reward of faith is that you shall have everlasting life.”

The true joy of Christmas is in the everlasting love of Christ.

All over the world, persecuted believers are worshiping God for the greatest gift ever given to mankind. They count their suffering worthy to be in Him as part of the Body of Christ. As we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, please take a moment to remember and pray for those who are suffering in the name of Jesus.

This Christmas, let us reflect not on the trials, but on all God’s blessings in our lives. Let us praise the Lord for His faithfulness to give hope to the afflicted, to bind up the brokenhearted, bring liberty to captives and life to the lost. We thank God for comforting all who mourn, giving them strength and peace instead of mourning, and the ability to praise instead of a spirit of fainting. He is always with us in the storm.

Though nothing we could ever give or do will compare to the rescue mission of Christ, because of your prayers and faithful support, persecuted believers have been given hope. From all of us at Voice of the Persecuted and on behalf of the persecuted believers, thank you for standing with us in the mission! We pray for the Lord’s guidance and the ability to do more in the coming year.

To all our persecuted brothers and sisters, our advocates and workers in the field, to all friends of Voice of the Persecuted—and to you who have supported our ministry and make it possible for us to care for our persecuted family… MERRY CHRISTMAS!

May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all through the year.

From all of us at the Voice of the Persecuted, God bless you!

Voice of the Persecuted

 

The Light of the world has come! Merry Christmas from Voice of the Persecuted

Voice of the Persecuted Merry Christmas 2015

At Voice of the Persecuted, we share with you all the joy that is felt as we recall and honor the birth of our dear Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Matthew 1:23

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

Even angels appeared to announce the great event and joy to the world.

 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2:8-14

A promise of peace among men with whom He is pleased!

It’s a special time of gratitude, giving, hope, anticipation of a new year and time spent with those we love.  But for many, it can be a time of isolation and loneliness, longing for those we have lost and the place we called home. As we hear of war, terror attacks and fallen economies, many fear for what may come. When Christ was born, people also lived in oppression and walked in dark times.  But through amazing love, we were given the greatest gift, a Savior, Jesus who is the Light of the World!

Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”  John 8:12

In the darkness of night, Christ was born to bring hope and light into the world. He did what no other could accomplish; He brought salvation to all who believe, love and follow Him. As followers of Christ, we will never walk in darkness.

This Christmas, let us reflect not on the trials, but on all God’s blessings in our lives. Let us thank the Lord for His faithfulness to bring hope to the afflicted, to bind up the brokenhearted and liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners. We thank God for comforting all who mourn, giving them strength and peace instead of mourning. For the ability to praise instead of a spirit of fainting, for being with us in the storm.

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. Titus 2:11-14

To all our persecuted brothers and sisters, our advocates and workers in the field, missions who partnered in emergency situations—to all friends of Voice of the Persecuted—and to you who have supported our ministry and make it possible for us to care for our persecuted family…THANK YOU! We pray for the Lord’s guidance and the ability to do so much more in 2017.

Rejoice! In the name of the Lord, Rejoice! Christ is King and Savior of the world.

May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all through the year. We thank you for standing with us in the mission!

God bless you,

From all of us at the Voice of the Persecuted

This Christmas Give the Gift of Life Sustaining Clean Water to the Persecuted

Give the Gift of Life Sustaining Clean Water VOP Project 13:3

Give the Gift of Life Sustaining Clean Water to the Persecuted – VOP Project 13:3

(Voice of the Persecuted) The world’s attention is focused on the San Bernadino attack with links to terrorism as was in Paris. The refugee crisis and the expanding global war in the Middle East also remains at the forefront. But the majority of terrorist attacks in Nigeria goes mainly unnoticed by media outlets and the international community at large.

Formally known as Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad, or People Committed to the Prophet’s Teachings for Propagation and Jihad, Boko Haram’s violent campaign to create an Islamic state has inflicted terror and death across Northeast Nigeria. We in the West would be hard pressed to even imagine a portion of the horrific persecution that Nigerian Christians have experienced for their faith in Christ.

Boko Haram is the equivalent of ISIS in Nigeria and listed as the world’s most deadly terror organization of 2014. They have not been eliminated as promised, while African nations argue and debate the means to rid themselves of these extreme Islamic militants. Major General Muhammadu Buhari had been chosen by the Nigerian people as the new president and took office in May 2015. Buhari, a Muslim, had been elected, even by the Christian majority in the south, largely for his campaign pledge to defeat the notorious Boko Haram. Buhari had promised the Boko Haram would no longer be a threat by this month, December 2015, yet suicide attacks continue even spreading out to surrounding nations. Though the military has made advances, Boko Haram continues to be a threat. Nigerians are forced to remain hopeful, but many question Buhari’s tactics and have lost faith in his ability to contain the militant group and protect Nigeria’s citizens.

The previous president, Goodluck Jonathon and his administration had been overwhelmed and unable to conquer the radicals, who are the greatest threat to Nigeria’s northeast population. Johnathon had asked the U.S. for help, but serious aid was not forthcoming. Last November (2014), Ambassador Adebowale Adefuye slammed the U.S. for refusing to sell his country the weapons needed to deliver “the killer punch” to defeat Boko Haram militants. He added, “The Nigerian leadership… are not satisfied with the scope, nature and content of the United States’ support for us in our struggle against terrorists,” and “We find it difficult to understand how and why in spite of the US presence in Nigeria, with their sophisticated military technology, Boko Haram should be expanding and becoming more deadly.”

The US condemned the attacks by Boko Haram, but repeatedly called for the Nigerian army to show restraint as it sought to hunt down the militants and not give in to reprisals. However, Adefuye insisted the fault lay with Washington. “The US government has up till today refused to grant Nigeria’s request to purchase lethal equipment that would have brought down the terrorists within a short time,” he said. Trying to urge members of the Council on Foreign Relations, he said, “The terrorists threaten our corporate existence and territorial integrity.” Pleading Nigeria’s case with the US administration, he added, “A friend in need is a friend indeed. The true test of friendship is in the times of adversity.” But the aid Nigeria sought did not come and Boko Haram felt more empowered with each new brutal attack in their terror campaign.

In July, President Obama welcomed President Buhari as someone committed to fighting corruption and a breath of fresh air, compared to Goodluck Jonathan. He remarked, “We very much look forward to talking about security issues, how we can cooperate on counterterrorism.” But Buhari surprised current and former United States officials, when he also criticized the United States for refusing to sell his country weapons in the fight against Boko Haram. He blamed Washington for his country’s failure to eliminate the terrorists and brushed aside reports of human rights violations by the Nigerian military, which he said were unproven. In October, Obama said the US would deploy up to 300 troops for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations to Cameroon and would remain until no longer needed.

A multinational coalition taskforce had been designed to take down the Boko Haram when neighboring nations began suffering Boko Haram attacks. But a report by World Bulletin, ‘Regional anti-Boko Haram coalition in jeopardy‘ described the regional alliance as collapsed and appeared to have withered away.

The 8,700 soldiers from Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger, Chad and Benin was put together and set to be deployed by the end of July. But over four months past, the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) has yet to begin operations. Concerns were raised by the recent reported pullout of Chadian forces from the alliance.

A top security analyst in Nigeria said all the nations appear to have underrated the capabilities of Boko Haram in the early days of their alliance talks. Repeated suicide attacks in major cities of the collaborating countries have made them rethink their involvement in the regional effort to face the Boko Haram. Notably, suicide bombings have been rampant in Nigeria, but Niger, Chad and Cameroon hadn’t experience the onslaught of suicide attacks until the second quarter of 2015.

“Whereas the Nigerian commander of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) was quoted mid-September as saying that the country’s contingent had fully deployed to the mission area, the country’s Chief of Defense Staff intimated late in November that the erstwhile very bullish Chadian forces had curiously not deployed for the joint operations.”

The analyst concluded the arrangement appears to be stalling as a result of dwindling political will,  lack of resources and poor logistics, and warned of “grave consequences” for all the countries should the alliance collapse.

In April, The Internal Displacement Centre reported during the first half of 2015, the increase in the of the number of internally displaced people (IDPs) in Nigeria was due to ongoing violence in the north-east, as well as the return of refugees who have not been able to settle back in their places of origin. The biggest rise in the number of IDPs was registered in Borno state, one of the three north-eastern states most affected by Boko Haram violence, followed by Adamawa and Yobe.

Over the past few years, the number of people displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency has risen immensely. The United Nations confirmed that Nigeria’s Displaced Persons are now one of the highest in the World with 2.2 million displaced. Imagine the number of children who’ve been unable to go to attend school during the crisis.

The Borno state region has suffered the terror insurgency for the past 6 years. Many have been on the run, while moving from camp to camp looking for safety. Often they’ve felt unsafe in ‘designated’ government or U.N. camps with horrid conditions, sickness and little food. Many Christians have described further persecution and pressures to convert to Islam by Muslim IDP’s. There have also been reports of recognized Boko Haram members infiltrating these camps. 

Recently, the Nigerian government has announced plans to begin closing all camps reserved for Internally Displaced People (IDP) camps by the first quarter of 2016. Camps in Adamawa State at the end of December and Borno State camps in January. The National Emergency Management Agency is urging all IDPs to do go voluntarily before they are forced to evacuate. 

“With the increased pace of rebuilding all destroyed communities by the state’s Ministry of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement, all the displaced people are expected to return to their homes in the next six months,” said Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima.

We pray the government will do all it can to help bring back normalcy to their lives. The damage caused by the Boko Haram is great, rebuilding communities and will not happen overnight. Until the terror group has been subdued, villages will be at risk of repeated attacks.

A large number have been in this situation for years. They want to go home—they want to rebuild—they are tired of living in limbo, but what are the risks?

The insurgency by Boko Haram extremists in north-east Nigeria, the epicentre of the crisis, has created an unprecedented humanitarian crisis and many believe it’s far from over. We cannot be silent and will continue to be their voice. We will stand by them and remember them constantly in our prayers.

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The refugee (IDP) camp Voice of the Persecuted is helping to aid has grown to over 400 people. Based on the latest mission assessment report, it has been logically determined many areas, particularly the villages of Gwoza, remain too dangerous for return. A large number, including the children in the camp, have suffered great emotional trauma and need counselling to overcome. Most in the camp come from villages which were completely destroyed and still considered at risk. They will not be leaving the camp anytime soon and needs continue to rise. A recent outbreak of Cholera is also a concern. It is believed to be coming from a nearby, unsanitary well. To protect them from further illness, a source of clean water is critical and a temporary well must be constructed. We need your help! Many find it harder to give during the Christmas season, but even a small amount will be so greatly appreciated. Go with us through your gifts to bring hope and clean water to protect them from preventable disease. Remember this mission so we can continue to offer relief to many trapped in this severe crisis.

Voice of the Persecuted is helping to support persecuted Christians in Northeast Nigeria. 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.

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTED

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 send your gift to:

2740 Third St
P.O. Box 122
Trenton, MI. 48183

URGENT: We’re almost there, but need your help! ‪#‎CompassionInAction‬

223336VOPProject133© downloads strictly prohibited

We’re almost there! Needing to raise only $400.58USD more to cover families suffering in extreme conditions with shelter, food and necessary medical care/medications (such as insulin) for another month. No amount is to small to bring ‪#‎hope‬, ‪#‎love‬, ‪#‎encouragement‬. Sometimes the littlest things make a huge impact. ‪#‎CompassionInAction‬ Words cannot describe their gratitude. Please pray for this to be accomplished in the next 42 hours.

HELP SAVE THE PERSECUTEDCLICK on the Donate Button to help us with this urgent need. THANK 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, hope and encouragement.  No amount is too small to give comfort.

Voice of the Persecuted uses your donation for those God has burdened on your heart. Whether it be Nigeria, Pakistan, Thailand or any other VOP’s Project13:3 aid relief program, you can be sure it will be used exactly where you want it to go. Add a note when donating to let us know.

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

Voice of the Persecuted Open Letter on behalf of Pakistani Christian Asylum Seekers arrested in Thailand

VOPLogoPhotoCropped800x846Rightfacing

 

Letter to Thailand Prime Minister

March 12, 2015

General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of Thailand
The Secretariat of the Prime Minster
Government House, 1 Phitsanulock Road, Dusit, Bangkok 10300

Subject: Pakistani Christian asylum seekers registered with UNHCR arrested by Bangkok Police

His Excellency,

Honorable Prime Minister,

Respectfully, we at Voice of the Persecuted, a religious and human rights organization (USA) are contacting you on behalf of Pakistani Christian refugees who have faced extreme persecution having no other choice but to flee Pakistan to save their lives.

These persecuted Christians, including families with children have registered for asylum with the United Nations Human Rights Commission for Refugees at the UNHCR office in Bangkok. They have scheduled interviews and are waiting to be transferred to countries which will accept them as refugees and grant them asylum.

In direct communication with Pakistan Christian asylum seekers, we have been made aware that the Bangkok police have arrested more than 400 of these Christian immigrants, including their children. We are told they are being held in the Thailand Immigration Detention Centres (IDC). In your respected position, we appeal to you for their release and protection.

Many of these Christians are educated, hard-working and have a lot to offer society. Extreme religious discrimination and oppression, victimization by the Blasphemy Law, forced conversions and death threats have forced them to leave their beloved families and homeland to seek safety in foreign lands. They have experienced much hardship and are in dire need of your help.

We humbly ask you and the government of Thailand to grant asylum to these refugees, or the opportunity to seek asylum in the United States of America through the U.S Embassy. We ask that you ensure the police will refrain from making unnecessary arrests. In this dire situation, we beseech you to offer the refugees protection. Sending them back to Pakistan would most certainly put them in grave danger. All they ask for is to be given the opportunity to live in a nation where they can practice their religion freely, without fear or oppression and to live in peace. A human right that should be given to all mankind.

 

Thank you,

Lois Kanalos, Founder

VOP Advocacy Team

Voice of the Persecuted

 

=========================================================

Letter to United States Embassy in Thailand

March 12, 2015

Embassy of the United States of America
Bangkok, Thailand
Chargé d’affaires, a.i.
W. Patrick Murphy
GPF Tower A, 10th Floor, 93/1 Wireless Road,
Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Telephone: +66-2-205-4485
Central Fax: +66-2-650-8921
IRC Fax: +66-2-650-8918; BKK CIS Fax: +66-2-650-7770

Subject: Pakistani Christian asylum seekers registered with UNHCR arrested by Bangkok Police

Chargé d’affaires, a.i., W. Patrick Murphy,

Respectfully, we at Voice of the Persecuted, are contacting you on behalf of Pakistani Christian refugees in Thailand. Many are in constant fear of detention and in grave danger of being deported back to Pakistan, a known violator of human rights. These Christians have fled Pakistan after facing extreme persecution, death threats and assassination attempts. They have applied for UNHCR refugee status and they are seeking asylum as refugees.

Our Advocates stay in direct communication with these Christian refugees and are familiar with the pressures they face during the asylum process in Thailand. We have also been made aware that the Bangkok police have arrested more than 400 of these Christian immigrants, including children. We are told they are being held in the Thailand Immigration Detention Centres (IDC). We join with other human rights groups and advocates to speak out for them, as it seems their cries have gone unheard.

Many of these Christians are educated, hard-working and have a lot to offer society. Extreme religious discrimination and oppression, victimization by the Blasphemy Law, forced conversions and death threats have forced them to leave their beloved families and homeland to seek safety in foreign lands. They have experienced much hardship and are in dire need of your help.

The Thailand government is not giving them asylum, nor has the Bangkok UNHCR office supported their applications to keep them safely in Thailand until they can be relocated to a host nation. We call on the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok to grant asylum to Pakistan Christian refugees and safe passage to the United States of America. The USA has always stood for human rights and freedom.  Let us prove how important this still is to us by helping these refugees, today. Any delays could put their lives in grave danger. All they ask for is to be given the opportunity to live in a nation where they can practice their religion freely, without fear or oppression and to live in peace. A human right that should be given to all mankind.

Sincerely,

Lois Kanalos, Founder

VOP Advocacy Team

Voice of the Persecuted

=========================================================

Letter to UNHCR

March 12, 2015

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Case Postale 2500
CH-1211 Genève 2 Dépôt
Suisse.
Telephone: +41 22 739 8111
FAX: +41 22 739 7377

cc: UNHCR Regional Representative in Thailand
3rd Floor, United Nations Building, Rajdamnern Nok Avenue, 10200 Bangkok, Thailand
Telephone: 66 2 288 1858
FAX: 66 2 280 0555
Email: thaba@unhcr.org

Subject: Pakistani Christian asylum seekers registered with UNHCR arrested by Bangkok Police

UNHCR Headquarters and UNHCR Office in Thailand,

Respectfully, we at Voice of the Persecuted, are contacting you on behalf of Pakistani Christian refugees in Thailand. Many are in constant fear of detention and in grave danger of being deported back to Pakistan, a known violator of human rights. These Christians have fled Pakistan after facing extreme persecution, death threats and assassination attempts. They have applied for UNHCR refugee status and they are seeking asylum as refugees.

Our Advocates stay in direct communication with these Christian refugees and are familiar with the pressures they’re facing during the asylum process in Thailand. We have been made aware that the Bangkok police have arrested more than 400 of these Christian immigrants, including children. We are told they are being held in the Thailand Immigration Detention Centres (IDC). We join with other human rights groups and advocates to speak out for them, as it seems their cries have gone unheard. They have experienced much hardship and urgently need your help.

We call for you to take immediate action to protect the human rights, dignity, and security of these refugees. Forced to leave their beloved families and homeland to seek safety in foreign countries, they are relying on your commitment of universal human rights. Rights that the United Nations has declared as standard for all nations of the world.

We ask that you do more to establish a working relationship with the Thailand government with agreements in place to protect persecuted Christian refugees, as they are waiting for asylum status from your office.

In this crisis situation, please act immediately to support these Christian refugees in Thailand. Men, women and children who are only seeking for the opportunity to live in a nation where they can practice their religion freely, without fear or oppression and to live their lives in peace. A human right that should be given to all mankind.

We also ask that you provide interviews to Pakistani Christians nearer to their arrival in the country. Waiting a year or longer for an interview, after the six month wait for paperwork is unbearably long. They live in fear with a real threat of being deported back to Pakistan. They are legally unable to work without documentation and are barely able to survive. They appreciate and are grateful for the chance to be rescued from the terrorizing abuse they faced in Pakistan. But please consider their current plight to survive, now that they have come this far.

Our organization respects the work of the UNHCR to protect and aid persecuted Christian refugees, globally. And hope to partner with you in the future to ensure that their basic needs are met.

Sincerely,

Lois Kanalos, Founder

VOP Advocacy Team

Voice of the Persecuted

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