On 27th January 2022, BACA arranged a larger than normal distribution of food packages among Pakistani Christian asylum seekers in Thailand, thanks to generous donations from our supporters. There are several thousand Pak-Christian asylum seekers in Thailand all of whom are treated as illegal immigrants, even though a large percentage have either UNHCR registration as an official asylum seeker or refugee.
The problem lies with the Royal Thai Governments refusal to ratify international conventions for asylum seekers. Moreover the Thai Government is adamant that they will not allow refugees and asylum seekers to take things easy in their country. Regular arrests, a fine system and brutal conditions in their Immigration Detention Centres (IDC) have been created to make life as tough as possible for those seeking safety and refuge within their borders.
British Asian Christian Association, helped the BBC film a secret documentary at the Bangkok IDC when one of our team travelled secretly travelled to Bangkok with a BBC film crew (click here), risking arrest to shed light on the situation faced by the asylum diaspora there. This link (here) is a report that we helped BBC’s Chris Rogers write which also contains a short video of one of our schools for asylum seekers. You can watch the full documentary here:
On average Thailand is reporting over 7000 cases of ultra transmissible Omicron variant of COVID-19 daily. This pushed the RTG to raise level 4 restrictions in the blue zone areas of the country (click here). Restrictions meant bars, clubs and Karaoke venues are all required to remain shut. With entertainment venues shut tourism is very limited, this had already vastly reduced due to global COVID travel restrictions. Lifting travel restrictions during this delicate period has remained ineffectual and is damaging to the Thai economy.
Restrictions placed the Pakistani Christian Asylum Seekers community under extreme poverty and they are still struggling to feed their families. Most of the asylum seeker communities had been surviving through working for a pittance doing hard manual labour illegally with under-the-table payments. They worked on construction sites or as waiters, carriers or cleaners for the many venues across Bangkok.
Though pay was a pittance it helped pay for rent and food. Now even though Bangkok returned to a level 3 restriction recently, no one will hire Pakistani Christians. Firstly, they blame them for the Omicron variant that began in India and are fearful that every Pakistani Christian is diseased. Secondly they no longer have the number of customers that required the use of their previous illegal staff and are culling Pakistani Christians ‘who may have Omicron.’ Thirdly, many businesses have made huge losses and have closed down.
The situation for the Pak-Christian asylum-seeker community is unbearable and yet they continue to pray and believe in God for their next days food and rent. To some extent for some their prayers have been answered and BACA has been able to step in and provide some respite.
We have been arranging food packages that feed a family for one month. Food parcels this month were delivered to over 20 families most of whom were getting desperate for help. We really would do a lot more to assist the many desperate families contacting us for support as they try to survive. Doing so, however, will require more finance.
Each food package costs £25 and we asks you to see what you might be able to afford to help us reach our goal to help 40 families a month. These families have been made destitute for nothing else but clinging to faith in Christ. They come from different walks of life, but many had perfectly good homes and jobs in Pakistan, till they were persecuted. Some of them were nurses and teachers and will easily adapt to life in the west once they get through the asylum quagmire in Thailand – or so the BBC believe (click here).
If God is speaking to you after you have read this account and you feel moved to donate to our work, you can do so by exploring the many payment options that are (here).
Some of our supporters have been asking about the family of Soham a mentally disabled child whose father died, when falling from a ladder during illegal work he was doing to feed his family. We initially supported the family with a cash gift paid for by an Australian charity that partners with us. Since then we have continued to support the family with food packages. The grateful family shared this message with you all:
Miss Amira, can be heard saying:
“I’m filled with gratitude for BACA for reaching to us every month with food bags. God bless them and provide them more resources and enable them to reach more needy people like us”
Here are some other messages we have many more and can share them with anyone who needs further evidence of how difficult it is for Pak-Christian asylum seekers: