(Voice of the Persecuted) Praise Report! Yesterday we shared about the collaboration of Christian groups preventing the detention of Christian asylum seekers in the inhumane conditions of the Central Jail/IDC. Today we were notified all 16 have been freed and liberated from this incident. To face charges in court, further cost of approx. $1500USD would’ve been needed for their bail and guarantee certificate protecting them from rearrest for the next two years. Truly a divine intervention, we want to share our joy of this news and thank you again for all the prayers and financial support. Support that made it possible for us to partner for their freedom. We were concerned for the families who are suffering the most, as using the funds might have halted our ability. But God made the way for us to cover families in the greatest need with shelter and food for the next month—we were able to do both. Please praise and thank the Lord with us!
(BPCA) After an unexpected and rare show of unity amongst charities 16 Pak-Christians almost had their court fines paid by a collaborative between Urdu Church in the Hands of God; TROTB Ministries; Voice of the Persecuted; Jubilee Campaign and BPCA. As we were about to pay the fines brother Farrukh Saif weighed in with a wonderful offer to pay half the fines, meaning that the collaborative became an unprecedented union of six charities, a matching that many would call a miracle in itself.
The tacit message here is that charities in Thailand who are fed up with the ongoing re-persecution of Pak-Christians are willing to pull out all the stops to help. God is working in mysterious ways in Thailand for definite, as despite a common belief that Pak-Christians are divided, unity amongst the persecuted asylum seekers is stronger than ever.
Last month after the death of Shafqat Nasir the family wanted to send the body back to Pakistan to be buried – the land of their forefathers and a land that Pak-Christians still adore and have fond memories of despite their predicament. The BPCA had to refuse the cost of the funeral as our priority has to be the living rather than the deceased, especially with our meagre funds. Despite this our young brave and passionate officer Christian Malik, scraped the costs together for the funeral by taking small donations from the entirety of the Pak-Christians in Thailand who were moved by the loss of a brother. Giving up tiny amounts each, Pak-Christians showed the enviable type of unity that few experience in their lifetime and eventually collected the funds for the funeral with a small donation from the BPCA. Their passion for the country they have been forced to leave is an illustration of the difficult but forced decision they had to make to leave the place of their ancestors.
On Friday all 16 asylum seekers were set free from jail which was an unique and astonishing event, that was met with great joy by all humanitarian groups working with Pakistan and the asylum seeker community. Papa Thongchai, a Thai citizen and long time supporter and friend of Pakistani Christians, has met with all the victims and informs us that they are well and thankful to God for their freedom.
Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the BPCA, said:
“Yesterday we received the fantastic news that all 16 victims were set free from prison without having to go to court. I thank God for this and I am a believer that God can use any situation, person or predicament to bring about His purposes or to show His glory. It has come to my knowledge that a passionate Sikh man paid a bribe to free them because he could not bear to see the families struggle or let their children go through the horrendous conditions in the IDC. While we are very glad to see the families freed, the BPCA does not condone bribery nor would we enter into it. Bribes are not accountable and although these victims avoided the awful IDC, by them not entering it and paying subsequent bail fines, they are prevented from obtaining the guaranteed two year protection from re-arrest. Nevertheless the BPCA are grateful for the generosity, and passion this man has shown to Pak-Christians.”
Christian Malik, our officer in Thailand said:
“Living in constant fear of discovery by the authorities takes a great toll on these vulnerable members of our community. These families are safe for now but without actual asylum status they can never be at peace. We hope the Thai Government will either decide to accept UNHCR documentation or preferably ratify UN conventions for asylum.”
Note: Voice of the Persecuted never condones bribery. This practice furthers the abuse of these vulnerable Christians and we believe the practice will never stop as long as bribes continue to be paid. Along with the BPCA, we too are working in Thailand for the protection and aid of Christian asylum seekers fleeing persecution in Pakistan. It is heartbreaking the amount of those who have no means to support their survival or that of their families while waiting for asylum status. Please consider contributing to our relief mission to help and show they are not forgotten.
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!
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