- Bishop Dr Michael Nazir-Ali - Emeritus Bishop of Rochester)
- Neville St L Kyrke-Smith - Aid to the Church in Need
- Imam Taj Hargey - Muslim Education Centre Oxford
- Dr Martin Stern - Nazi Holocaust Survivor and former Peshawar University Medical student
- Alan Craig Christian Peoples Alliance
- Alex Chowdhry - Former Chairman of the BPCA
Today I also received very positive news from another large anti- persecution charity who confirmed that their South Asia Coordinator will be attending. (Article amended to protect names)
Since the BPCA was formed we have had an uphill struggle trying to bolster support from our community of Pakistani Christians in the UK. As newbies to the arena we have been overlooked as just another group who wants to make a name for themselves, or another association doomed to failure.
Our passion to see change has meant we have persevered through a number of betrayals. Groups and leaders who said they would join us, failed to attend our meetings and protests and a whole manner of denigrating words have been spoken outwardly and in a more clandestine fashion, all said with a specific intent to derail or undermine the work we have committed ourselves to complete.
I have had to forgive many brothers and sisters on the way and I can tell you honestly, that sometimes it has taken some real soul searching to do so. Not because of the personal slight - I am tough enough to take it on the chin. No my pain is for the innocent victims of Pakistan as they continue to suffer, while some of our community casually reject a political campaign that simply needs the effort of every single member within our tiny diaspora. Our community presence in the UK includes only 8174 individuals, illustrating the need for unity. If we are to be a voice for voiceless Pakistani Christians then we all have to be involved in as many of the campaigns as possible. Irrespective of the failed arrivals at our events we have managed to attend the majority of Pakistani Christian events in the UK - even when not invited.
It seems that a stronger camaraderie is precipitating within the majority of UK brethren and that a much wider Christian unity on the matter if international persecution is surfacing. This is an encouraging direction for our communities to take and I hope that we can play a small part in magnifying this emerging if not nascent collaborative spirit.
The parable of the "Good Samaritan" is one that describes a man who was attacked and left to die. Verse 31 describes the attitude of a holy man or priest of the time:
It's the stuff of Godly dreams!
On leaving I want to challenge the hearts that are still have not decided to join our 2nd July protest. The title of this post is significant and is a replication of the title of the passage representing Romans 8 v 31 - 32. Why not pray and then read this important scriptural text then work out for yourself what I am getting at...
More Than Conquerors
31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[j]
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.