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Apr-21-2015 15:05printcomments

Remembering Inmates on this Easter

Rah-e-Nijat Ministry is working with prisoners in Pakistan.

Pakistani prison
Packages for the prisoners wait for authorization outside Adayla Jail Rawalpindi on Easter. Photo: Shamim Masih

(ISLAMABAD) - A day before resurrection day on April 04, 2015, I wished my friends through a text message mentioning them that the resurrection day is a time when you can reflect on the true values of Christianity; responsibility, charity, compassion, humility, forgiveness and love.

We should particularly remember those followers of Christ Jesus in our surroundings that are unable to celebrate this event due to any of their problems.

A country like Pakistan; where Christians and other religious minorities are being targeted frequently. There are many Christians suffering for their faith today in a normal life that it is hard to comprehend.

I have been reporting from the country where extremist Sunnis, inspired by puritan Wahhabi teachings, and have been targeting educated and well off Christians.

Extremist have killed enough innocent children, attacked schools, burnt Christians colonies, torn down Hindu temples, mutilated journalists, shunned social values and flogged bloggers for free thinking to deserve this acrimony all around the world.

Religious extremists have established that no other form of religion is welcome in Pakistan. Christians and Hindus are out of the question; these extremists are far from accepting even another sect of their own religion here.

In this situation, just think about the Christian prisoners in Pakistan. How could their life can be, can you believe that?

In Central Jail Adayla Rawalpindi, there are about 100 inmates, around 80 detainees and 20 prisoners. Visiting a loved one in prison can be a difficult experience.

Aiming to maintain and enhance positive contact between people in prison, their families and their children, we went to Adayla Jail Rawalpindi on this Easter. Safder Chaudhry, SG, Rah-e-Nijat Ministries arranged 15 Kg Rice, 15 cakes, Milk, meat, spices, fruits, and other eatable items.

We went to deliver them and to share the word of God with our brothers in Jail.

We had permission for IG Prison even than Superintendent Police didn’t allow us to enter into prison to see our Christian inmates on Easter. However after DIG prison intervention we went in and share the word of God with few Christian prisoners and delivered the eatable items to them.

Vicky Yousaf, Christian teacher in the church and his other partners were very happy to see us. He said we feel very proud when our brothers in Christ remember us while celebrating Christmas and Easter.

Imprisonment disrupts families and while research suggests people who offend are very often the children of people who have offended, there is very little support for children who have a parent in prison.

If people in prison can keep up their family links while in prison, they are less likely to re-offend. I met with Sajid Masih, he spent half of portion of his life in jail, and he has to pay just few hundred thousand rupees to save his rest of life and his family as well.

Rah-e-Nijat Ministry is working with prisoners in Pakistan. You can help them out, and give some relief to the suffering of our brothers and sisters. It aims to provide food, clothing and legal assistance to as many of these prisoners as possible.

If you would like to donate toward helping Sajid Masih with his release or other prisoners in Pakistan, you can contact: rahenijatm@gmail.com.

_________________________________________

Shamim Masih is a "Christian rights activist and freelancer Pakistani journalist specializing in writing about Christians rights for the different papers in the world. My aim is to create a peaceful environment in the society and to help eliminate Christian persecution through my writing as I bring the plight of these brave people under the spotlight of the whole world."

Shamim Masih was born in Sheikhopura's village and raised in Gujranwala, a city in Pakistan's Punjab province. He earned his Bachelors Degree from the University of the Punjab, Lahore majoring in English, Economics and Statistics; he also received a Masters Degree in Business Administration.

As a freelance writer and author, Shamim has written for different papers in the world; his expertise is in writing articles highlighting different social issues. He has served as freelance chief reporter and column writer in “Minority Times” in Islamabad, and a number of Shamim's articles have been published in local papers as well.

You can write to Shamim at this address: shamimpakistan@gmail.com




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