Mehwish (second from the right) prays with and encourages Aftab Gill’s family
One way which Churches and Christian groups can contribute to the work of the BPCA (Click here)
Aftab Gill was accused of blasphemy on 14th August 2015, after an altercation with a Muslim man over the practising of his Christian faith and his drinking
from a mosque tap (click here).
On 27th October 2015, Mehwish Bhatti arrived at his family home with food parcels to help them through the difficult situation they have now found themselves
in. Aftab is currently in a safe house in Lahore and is unable to return to his family due to the ongoing hatred towards him within the community.
Aftab Gill’s sister (who wishes to remain anonymous from fear of reprisals) spoke to the BPCA:
‘’This treatment of my innocent brother is extremely unfair. A local Muslim man had been speaking ill of our Lord Jesus Christ outside our house every day, in an attempt to convert us to to Islam. He has used the blasphemy law to enact vengeance on us for our firm faith – but our God will bring justice to this situation.”
Aftab’s sister recalled the day the mob came to their house, she said:
“We were extremely worried and shocked when we saw that 200 to 300 people were gathered in front of our house carrying pamphlets against us. They were proclaiming that we have done blasphemy and were calling for us to be burned alive. Fortunately the police arrived quickly and saved us from being beaten and much worse.”
Aftab fled his home taking his family with him to ensure their safety. His wife and children have since been able to return, as the anger towards them
has dissipated, but they are under constant pressure to provide details of Aftab’s whereabouts. Aftab has asked for help to start a new life in Lahore
and the BPCA have agreed to provide free entrepreneurial training to him and his family. Our officer Mehwish visited Uganda in September to be
taught how to establish village saving and loans schemes and entrepreneurial training. She will enquire about the possibility of obtaining a
business start-up grant for Aftab to help him get back on his feet.
Aftab’s sister also shared her sadness and disappointment at the lack of response the family have had from the local catholic priests, and said they
hadn’t had any support from them in this tyranny. She said that the priests hadn’t done anything except advise them to flee the area, just as the local
Muslim cleric had advised. She said she felt disheartened that their own Christian leaders do not feel able to stand with the family and that they
seem unable to protect them in any way.
BPCA will be installing a water pump in the home of a Christian family from the neighbourhood which will be shared with the entire Christian community,
enabling them all to benefit from clean water, and reducing their need to obtain it from the mosque. We have already instructed the work and will report
back to you all on completion. We are also happy to report that we intend to build a series of three pumps in an extremely deprived area, Sialkot.
Mehwish Bhatti said:
“The fact that villagers are forced to obtain clean water from the tap at a local mosque illustrates the great poverty in the region. I am very happy and
grateful to God that BPCA are installing the water pump which will greatly improve the health and quality of life of these Christian families. I also
intend to hold a series of entrepreneurial training sessions to enable those interested to make a better living and to work towards lifting themselves
out of poverty.”
Please give what you can to help Aftab Gill and his family to recover from this persecution. Donations can be sent using these bank details:
Sort Code: 20-44-22
Account number: 43163318
Ref: Love for Aftab Gill
For international donations please use these details:
IBAN: GB62 BARC 20442243163318
Alternatively you can use the PayPal facility on the top right hand corner of our blog, our PayPal email address is email@example.com.
Cheques should be made payable to the BPCA to our address: 57 Green Lane, Ilford, Essex, IG1 1XG.
BRITISH PAKISTANI CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION is a trading name for BRITISH PAKISTANI CHRISTIANS LTD which is a charity entered onto the Register of Charities with the Registered Charity Number 1163363
With your support we hope to change the lives of millions of Pakistani Christians.