In a powerful demonstration of solidarity and compassion, a protest was held in London to raise awareness about the ongoing persecution of Christians in India and Pakistan.
The event, organized by a coalition of individuals and organizations, sought to draw attention to the alarming incidents of violence and discrimination faced by Christian communities in these countries.
The protesters gathered at the Pakistani High Commission and later proceeded to the Indian High Commission and 10 Downing Street, where they delivered petitions and heartfelt pleas for justice, peace, and safety for persecuted Christians.
Video: Whistlestop tour through protest at Pakistan High Commission.
The protest began at 11 am at the Pakistani High Commission, where a diverse group of speakers addressed the crowd. They passionately called for improved safety, peace, and justice for persecuted Christians while reflecting on recent attacks that have shaken the Christian community. One of the distressing incidents discussed was the burning of at least 26 churches and 100 homes in Jaranwala, near Faisalabad in Pakistan (click here).
The event commenced with worship led by Sally and Hammad Baily. Notably, most of the worship music was in English to ensure that the message of the protest was crystal clear – it was about Christian persecution and not a platform for any other agenda. The protest group has maintained a sense of goodwill within the local community, as there have been no complaints about their activities despite local people regularly bemoaning others (click here).
Nissar Hussain, a Christian who converted from Islam, shared his harrowing experience of 17 years of persecution in the UK after openly embracing Christianity (click here). He recounted an attack by three men with baseball bats that left him hospitalized for 11 days (click here). Nissar passionately called for justice for all those who had suffered, lost their homes, or belongings in the recent attacks in Jaranwala.
VIDEO: Reverend Sally opens the event in prayer.
Reverend Sally offered a heartfelt prayer, crying out on behalf of persecuted brothers and sisters. Special attention was paid to the traumatic situation in Jaranwala, where people had been deeply traumatized. The attendees prayed for comfort and peace to envelop the afflicted communities.
VIDEO: Pastor Teerth prays over petition.
Pastor Teerth Sond led a prayer over a petition crafted by Hannah Chowdhry from the British Asian Christian Association, which was later submitted to the Pakistan High Commission. He prayed for the petition’s success and emphasized the liberating power of Jesus Christ.
A delegation comprising individuals from various faith backgrounds, including Reverend Peter Gill, Nissar Hussain, Pastor Teerth Sond, Pastor Lizzie, Archbishop Dr Gabriel Kolawole Olasjl of Caring Outreach International, and Reverend Sally Baily, handed over the petition, which had already amassed over 350 signatures (click here). The delegation was led by Christian Bagpiper Ben Buckland, who played the evocative hymn ‘Abide with Me,’ invoking God’s presence in the face of life’s trials.
VIDEO: A sombre procession led by a bagpiper delivered our petition to the Pakistani High Commission.
The petition was formally delivered to Adil Shah, the Protocol Officer for the Pakistan High Commission, who committed to forwarding it to His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Faisal, High Commissioner for Pakistan to the UK.
The delay in waiting for the High Commissioner’s representative prompted the protesters to head to India House by car or bus rather than a procession. There, they repeated their call for justice, this time focusing on the plight of over 300 Christians killed in Manipur and the more than 30,000 who have been displaced.
Pastor Teerth gave a stirring speech, demanding justice for all victims and a future characterized by equality and fairness for all. The protest received a powerful endorsement from Dr. Martin Stern, a survivor of the Nazi Holocaust, who shared his experiences and emphasized the need to unite against oppression.
VIDEO: Dr Martin Stern a child survivor of the Nazi Holocaust gave a moving speech.
The Indian High Commission declined to accept a physical petition, requesting that it be emailed instead. The British Asian Christian Association promptly emailed a copy of the petition, accompanied by a letter, to the provided email address.
Protesters then gathered for a procession to 10 Downing Street, where they handed out flyers to passersby, spreading awareness about the persecution faced by Christians in Asia. Notably, a Spanish school and its children joined the procession, expressing their solidarity and chanting slogans.
VIDEO: Our procession was led by a Christian Bagpiper moved by the plight of South Asian Christians.
VIDEO: Scores of Spanish School children and their teachers joined our procession after learning about the incidents in Jaranwala and Manipur.
Faisal Gill, known as Crown Jules, delivered a rap track he had composed for the suffering communities in India and Pakistan.
Rev. Sally and Hammad Baily led a powerful worship session, during which a petition was submitted to 10 Downing Street by Wilson Chowdhry of United by Faith and Pastor Teerth Sond.
Juliet Chowdhry, Trustee for British Asian Christian Association, said:
“This London protest served as a poignant reminder of the ongoing persecution faced by Christians in India and Pakistan.
“It was a testament to the power of unity and compassion in raising awareness and advocating for justice and peace.
“As the petitions were delivered to the respective high commissions and 10 Downing Street, the hope remained that these heartfelt pleas would lead to meaningful change and an end to the suffering endured by Christian communities in these nations.”