After completing the launch of our new publication “The Education System in Pakistan: Discrimination and the Targeting of the ‘Other,” in UK Parliament 8th December 2014, Faisal Gill, Shaun Yakoub and Wilson Chowdhry had the pleasure of meeting with the Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church, Ignatius Aphrem II.
The BPCA had literally launched their “We are One” Campaign three weeks earlier and believe that God was leading the paths of two minority Christian Groups, to converge under such opportune circumstance. To their great awe and privilege the Patriarch spent time talking to them, despite his need to be at another meeting. Moreover he granted permission for a photograph with him to ‘show other Christians that solidarity is important, in these the gravest times for Christians.’
For those of you who are unaware, the Syriac Orthodox Church is said to be the oldest church in the world and it’s roots date back to the original church in Antioch, established by Disciple Peter and Apostle Paul. They now have establishments across the globe and their head office is based in Southern India, in the province of Kerala, where Disciple Thomas is said to have shared the gospel.
The Patriarch is based in Damascus the city of Paul’s great conversion, in modern day Syria. Christians here face severe persecution and IS has their strongest presence in Syria and neighbouring Iraq.
BPCA Chairman Wilson Chowdhry gifted a copy of our recent book to the Patriarch, who agreed to keep us in his prayers. Mr Chowdhry said;
“Meeting with the head of the oldest church body in the world was a surreal experience. God does not allow such blessing to happen by chance. Sharing a moment of solidarity with brothers from a community suffering similar intolerance and hatred, highlighted the need for unity. We must persevere and unite Christians under one banner as the statistic of one Christian being killed every two minutes, cannot be allowed to worsen. Let us not unite under a banner of hatred but one of conciliation, and together we can espouse the change we wish to see in this world.”