This Sunday much of the UK will be hearing about the struggles of Pak-Christian Asylum seekers and refugees. They are seeking freedom and safety in South East Asian nations such as, Thailand, Malaysia and Sri Lanka – nations that have an easy protocol to obtain tourist visas.
After a mass of effort by the BPCA to highlight concerns about the treatment of Pak-Christian asylum seekers in Thailand, the BBC’s senior producer for Religious Affairs, Alex Strangeways-Booth, has invited Wilson Chowdhry to be interviewed by 8 local radio stations, across the UK, at the following times:
0708 SHEFFIELD Presenter Andy Producer Sarah Major
0715 JERSEY Presenter Cathy Le Feuvre Producer Cathy
0722 NORTHAMPTON Presenter Martin Heath Producer Ally Grant
0738 LEICESTER Presenter Monica Producer John Florance
0745 DERBY Presenter Aleena Producer Aftab Gulzar
0752 CUMBRIA Presenter Richard Corrie Producer Richard
0808 BRISTOL Presenter Lucy Tegg Producer Sacha Bigwood
0822 LANCASHIRE Presenter Joe Wilson Producer Shelley Booth
Christians are fleeing Pakistan in their droves and although the UNHCR believe that 4000 of the 7000 Pakistani refugees in Thailand are Christian, groups such as the International Society for Human Rights are purporting a figure of 8000. Worse still, on a recent trip to Thailand our Chairman Wilson Chowdhry was given estimations of a figure of 10,000 Pakistani Christians seeking asylum, via local churches.
The second largest number group of refugees from Pakistan are in the main a Muslim sect called the Ahmaddiyyah.
In order to raise the money to make a bid for safety Christians are forced to sell their properties under duress, usually after false blasphemy charges are being laid against them, or threats have been made to them or their children. The refugees include doctors, lawyers, teachers and other professionals, they are not deprived Christians who have no choice but to endure the terror and threats laid against them. In many cases these asylum seekers have had to pay thousands of pounds in bribes to border agency staff, who are refusing their entry onto flights despite holding valid tourist visas. So the potential figure of those being persecuted is significantly larger than the number of refugees.
Please listen in to your local station at these times to hear Wilson and learn more about the plight of millions of Christians in Pakistan, and the thousands forced to flee.