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Dec-30-2012 16:52printcomments

Wilson Chowdhry Chairman BPCA Helping Vulnerable People in Pakistan

Pressure on Pakistani Christians continued to escalate in 2012.

Pakistan Christians
All photos courtesy: Shamim Masih

(ISLAMABAD, Pakistan) - As violence gains momentum in Pakistan in the recent year, Christians are reportedly being denied governmental jobs and support, and being attacked by extremists, even in the capital city, Islamabad.

Wilson Chowdhry

In August, 2012 a local man, Malik Hammad, spotted the girl with the ashes and accused her of burning a prayer book that included passages from the Quran, a particularly provocative form of blasphemy which can carry the death penalty.

Police arrested the girl amid uproar in the neighborhood of Mehrabadi, a poor area on the outskirts of Islamabad. Locals had been whipped into a frenzy by Chishti, who reportedly showed the burned pages to mosque-goers at evening prayers and led a crowd of people to Rimsha’s house.

The teenage girl has exposed hypocrisy embedded in Pakistan’s societal and religious framework. In September, minor girl Rimsha tore apart the sense of equal rights for non-Muslims when Islamabad court released her and after that quashed her from the blame.

In this critical situation, when 250 families from Meharabadi were displaced and Mardan Church was turned to ashes, Wilson Chowdhry focused to help the people in need.

Writer Shamim Masih with a local family

In Christian-populated areas of Islamabad, where basic facilities don’t exist, the water supply is limited and technically not feasible to fulfill the need of the vicinity.

The sanitary facilities are next to none; as sewer water can be seen flowing on the main boulevard. Almost all the streets are in a dilapidated condition, while there is no process for maintenance and repair of roads in the area. They hardly get electricity for a maximum of 14 hours a day, while the rich enjoy the supply all day.

It is observed that a majority of Christians in Islamabad could not participate in religious functions due to lack of money and government support in this regard. There is always a feeling of depression whenever Christmas comes, a resident said.

Most of Christians celebrate Christmas at their homes, as they don’t have enough income to celebrate it in churches, which they think deprives them of the feeling of passion and spirituality attached to the religion.

BPCA helped displaced Pakistani Christians families and children through its representative in Pakistan. BPCA also went to distribute gifts for Sunday School Children in Mardan after the church turned into ashes with its school allied. With the minimum available resources it reached to the maximum people in need in Pakistan.

About Shamim Masih

"I am 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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