Hannah Chowdhry with Lord David Alton
A student from the London Borough of Redbridge visited the House of Lords for a tea and talk meeting on international Christian persecution, after
receiving a personal invitation from Baron Alton of Liverpool.
Hannah Chowdhry a student at Kantor King Solomon High School is also a lead volunteer with the British Pakistani Christian Association. Her duties
including responding to emails and calls, building databases, preparing an Easter and Christmas window display and invoice reconciliation. She also
has acted as an ambassador for the group a role which has seen her deliver a wreath of flowers to the Pakistan High Commissioner to mourn victims killed
during a bomb attack in the city of Quetta earlier this year.
Hannah was able to attend the event as she was on a special holiday from her school during the Jewish Festival of Succot (Festival of the Tabernacles).
During the two hour meeting Hannah Chowdhry learnt about the severe persecution Christians face in Northen Nigeria, Syria and Iraq. Guest speakers
Archbishop Issam John Darwish
Sister Annie Demerjan, Aleppo Syria
Father Salar Kajo Vicar General of Alqosh’s Chaldean Diocese
Bishop Matthew Kukah of Sokoto Northern Nigeria
The ceremony was organised by Catholic charity ‘Aid to the Church in Need’ and was presided over by Lord Alton. At the event a publication written by John Pontifex Head of Press & Information for Aid to the Church in Need was distributed to invited guests, the contents of which can be read (here)
Hannah Chowdhry, spoke about her experience, she said:
“It was really exciting to enter into the House of Lords, one of the most important political buildings in the UK.”
“Hearing the harrowing accounts of persecution across the middle-east was heartbreaking.
“In my capacity as a volunteer with the British Pakistani Christian Association, I am aware of the brutality minorities face in Pakistan but the scale of the problem elsewhere is a reminder that we live in a dark world.
“I will be praying for all these victims and for them all to live in a much improved world.
“I will also be praying that more people of good conscience from all faiths rise to this challenge and become the voice that these voiceless minorities need.”
For her commitment to volunteering with the BPCA, Redbridge Environmental Team and Redbridge Civic Pride, Hannah Chowdhry is to be honoured with a Jack Petchey Award, on October 30th 2017, at Ilford Town Hall.
Wilson Chowdhry, father of Hannah Chowdhry and Chairman of the BPCA, said:
“The tea event at the House of Lord’s provided a platform for engaging with other NGO’s helping persecuted Christians. I used the opportunity to share
concern about the worsening human rights conditions for Christians in Pakistan.
“Pakistan has a numerous intrinsic trade partnerships with countries in the west and is also regarded as a strategic partner in the war against terror.
These purportedly essential relationships have reduced the appetite for western nations to call out Pakistan for known human rights abuses.
“The result of which is the recognition on the Open Doors worldwatch list that Pakistan is the fourth worst country in the world for persecution of
Christians above Syria and Iraq (click here).
Moreover Pakistan is also listed as the 9th most dangerous country for minorities on our planet, according to Minority Rights Group International within their 2017 report, placing it above Myanmar in 10th place (click here).”
John Pontifex of ACNUK with Hannah Chowdhry
Hannah with an Egyptian Orthodox and Coptic Orthodox religious leaders.
Hannah Chowdhry with Vicar Salar Kajo
Hannah with a Police officer.