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Friday 28 August 2009

Thank You for your support!

Whenever an individual or organisation embarks on a new journey recognition from end users is rewarding and provides justification for the effort made. Today, I recieved an Email from Brother Alvin Samuel:

Dear Wilson

Indeed wonderful and very encouraging are the efforts you are making. Carry on doing the difficult task.

Every blessing.

I would like to take the time to thank him and to confirm that I will continue this work until a positive network for progress and the promotion of unity, is introduced to our myriad community.

More You Tube Videos

Here are a few other interesting videos of the Gojra incident and other related Christian persecutions - taken from You Tube:

Message from Tariq Chaudhry

I have received an important message from Tariq Chaudhry of Indian Christian Concern:

"A number of our community members had requested a copy of the Video Clip that we had shown at the Memorial Service that CCA had held on 14th August for the victims of Gojra & Korian Wala.

In order to get a first hand knowledge of the situation, CCA had asked a very credible, and highly respected journalist Mr. Anjum Herald Gill (Lahore, Pakistan) to prepare a report. Besides Mr. Anjum Gill, we are thankful to Romilla Mallo and Hijab Abraham for a lot of effort in preparing this Video.

For ease of access , we have placed this report on the You Tube for viewing. You are able to leave your comments on the video underneath the small display screen. Please click on the link below : The report if filed under : CCA GOJRA on the YouTube."

"We are grateful to the community for their support, in this cause. We will keep everyone informed of the developments."

Please do view the video and share your thoughts on this blog!

Don't forget Scottish pioneers!

I have recieved an email from Persis Mall from Scotland

"As part of the limited Asian Christian Community in Scotland, I am pleased that someone has finally addressed the need for a link for all our people in the UK. It is unfortunate that our community does not talk amongst itself.   My parents have longed for an Asian Christian event to be held in Scotland or in a northern city close enough for us to endure travel. The lack of such facility has resulted in a distinct cultural defecit within my siblings and I. We hope someone reading this blog might inform us of a conference or convention close enough to attend"

Thank you for your efforts Wilson Chowdhry

UN Petition

Brother Kenneth Massey writes:

A new petition is demanding that the United Nations help put an end to the lynching and murdering of Pakistani Christians on false claims of blasphemy. Jaw Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, said,

"Christians are being singled out and murdered because of their faith. Only when the Pakistani government effectively prosecutes those responsible for the acts of violence will attacks against Christians end." more here:

I will upload a copy of the petition as soon as possible as I am having technical difficulties.

Full copy of petition here.

Thursday 27 August 2009

Today at lunch time I met with Freddie O'Neill - one of the founder members of Fathers 4 Justice. F4J held a series of high profiles protests and stunts Whilst Tony Blair was still in power including throwing purple die on the former Prime Minister in the house of Commons, Scaling the 150ft House of Parliament building in a Batman costume, Batman visiting the Queens Balcony and other innovative and well planned events designed to highlight their cause. He believes that our protest was a good start, and a useful way in getting a message out (he did not know about the concern till reading one of my flyers at the 10 Downing Street Event) , however, we will have to raise our game if we are to get the mainstream media to take notice. I have been inspired and have some ideas that I will share with any of you who choose to attend the meeting in Birmingham this Saturday.

His wife Nute is a Far Eastern Asian Christian from Thailand a country in which a similar percentage of Christians are present as in Pakistan and India (approx 3%). He is an attendant at Hills Song Church and has stated he will attend our next demonstration. I will ask that he places a prayer request with his church leadership, for better opportunity and freedom to our brothers and sisters in Pakistan.

Remembrance meeting for Christians slain or injured in the recent Gojra attack

If you have booked anything this weekend please cancel it. A very important memorial is taking place in Birmingham. If there is anyway you can make it - do so! It is events such as theses that will ensure that our campaign is kept fresh and volatile enough to have impact. If any good has come out of the atrocity of Gojra is that it has made the sleeping giant awaken. Our community is now working together in unprecedented levels. Never have I seen brothers and sisters coming together in such fashion, collaborating in a manner that has been woefully absent in previous times. keep up the campaigning and the wonderful events and please cascade these items and any other general stories to us, so that we can share the news with brothers and sisters up and down the country.

For the first time ever a British Asian community is a reality and not just a soon to be discarded dream. Well done one and all.

I will be at the event and hope to meet many of you.....?

Just click on the flyer to make it bigger - the same works for all images on blogger!

Important Update! Rowan Williams Archbishop throws in his support!

The image is of Rowan Williams the current Archbishop of Canterbury. Our thanks to Nasir Saeed of CLAAS for the story!

Dear Wilson Chowdhry,

Attacks on Korian and Gojra have provoked worldwide condemnation from Pakistan's Prime Minister and President, to figures such as the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Prime Minister of Pakistan has formed a committee to review the Blasphemy law, which will hopefully consider the repeal of this law, particularly of section 295-C, which carries the death penalty.

So far no one convicted of blasphemy has been executed in Pakistan but extremists have used this law to kill several people and imprision hundreds of others.

General Musharraf promised to revise these laws twice but failed to do so. This time I hope the Government resists the fundamentalists and acts in the interests of the people.

I am really glad that the Archbishop of Cantebury and his team are helping to raise awareness about the suffering of Christians in Pakistan at this time. To see his open petition click here.

At this time please remember in your prayers Christian families of Gojra and Korian and Christians languishing in prisons falsely accused of blasphemy.
Yours in His service,

Nasir Saeed
CLAAS UK Cordinator

Trumped up Charges!

Brother Kenneth Massey sent me this email today:

"This is an attempt to muffle voice of Christians standing up for justice. You can see the failure of the authorities and bias in favour of perpetrators.Authorities need to provide the victims with security and justice instead of issuing arrest warrants. Any arrests of the victims will result in a civil rest and trigger more protests. We must not despair nor stop as there will be more hurdles along the way.

“Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.” Paulo Freire

Let us continue taking action, starting with signing the petition. Let us continue taking action, starting with signing the petition."

From: Taskeen Khan [] Sent: 26 August 2009 16:51To: gtvaapkiawaz@gmail.comSubject: Breaking News: Police issue warrant for Bishop of Faisalabad Rt. Rev. John Samuel and 128 other Christians

Breaking News: Police issue warrant for Bishop of Faisalabad Rt. Rev. John Samuel and 128 other Christians

By Taskeen Khan in London, England

Punjabi police have issued warrants for the arrest of the Bishop of Faisalabad and 128 other Christians, charging them with ‘’conspiracy’’ in the July 31 assault by Islamic militants on Gojra.

The First Information Reports or FIRs were filed this week by the Punjab police against the Rt. Rev. John Samuel, the Church of Pakistan’s Bishop of Faisalabad and 28 other Christians, in retaliation for complaints of police incompetence in the wake of the attacks on Christians in the town of Gojra that left ten dead and destroyed three Churches and over 100 homes.

FIRs have also been registered against 100 unnamed Pakistani Christians charging them as ‘’co-conspirators’’ in the attacks.

Local human rights activists have denounced the police action telling AsiaNews, “It is a revenge move by agents and district administration against the Christian victims of the accidents in Gojra.”

The three day anti-Christian pogrom began on July 30 in the village of Koriyan following a Church wedding. Following local customs, confetti was tossed over the bride and groom as they left the Church---however, local Islamists took offence saying the shredded paper had come from pages of the Koran. Rocks were thrown and a fight ensued leading to the burning of several Christian homes.

The following day members of the banned extremist Muslim organization, Sipah-e-Sahaba, gathered near the railway station in Gojra and marched towards the Christian quarter of the town, and began throwing petrol bombs and shooting at the fleeing Christians. Ten Christians were killed either by the gunfire or were burned to death by the mob in their homes.

In the days preceding the violence, the Punjabi police were warned of an impending action by the Sipah-e-Sahaba---who through a radical splinter group, the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, are linked to the Taliban and al-Qaeda. During the attacks the police are alleged to have stood aside as the banned terrorist group destroyed the Christian quarter of the town.

“All the world knows about this incident very well, what the Islamic terrorists have done with the Christian community in my diocese and even in my city,” Bishop Samuel told The Church of England Newspaper in an email on Aug 26.

“Instead of arresting those responsible for this incident, the police have registered the F.I.R. against 29 nominated and 100 un-nominated people. My name and the name of my both sons are also included in those 29 names,” he said.

“We have again become the victims,” the Bishop’s said, stating he had sent his family away from Gojra but would remain in the town and was ready to be “prosecuted for the glory and for the work of Jesus Christ.”

“I daily receive threats through phone calls from unknown numbers,” he said, and reported this to the police. However, the police are “not paying attention to us and they are just favouring the persons who are responsible” for the attacks.

Bishop Samuel has urged Christians around the world to “please Pray for us and also do something for my family because we are in great trouble.”

Wednesday 26 August 2009

How to become a follower!

Many readers of the blog have indicated frustation as they are unable to become a follower og this blog. The follower function will be disabled unless you have a google account. To obtain a free google account just follow this link. click on open a new account and follow the instructions.

Tuesday 25 August 2009

Founders of the Asian Christian Community in the UK

Click on images to expand.

In the 1960's 3 brothers Mujeeb, Najeeb and Waheed Chowdhry living in Dalston London at the time with their sister Naema Chowdhry (now Naema Gill) felt a longing and a desire for church worship in their language and fellowship with brothers from their homelands of Pakistan and India.

The brothers were all established travellers to both countries (which had been one state in their youth). Mr Mujeeb Chowdhry studied and lived in Delhi away from the rest of his family - singled out as the prized eldest son who eventually went on to study at Cambridge University in England. It was also on the invite of Mujeeb Chowdhry that the rest of his siblings (listed) journeyed to this wonderful island.

The desire they felt drove them to create strong networks with established Christians in the UK and they enquired about others, through the contacts they made. There desire was to bring to fruition an Asian Christian Church that would be a beacon for a beleaguered community, many of whom had difficulties with speaking English and all of whom had suffered some type of racist abuse in a time when confrontation, naivety and prejudices were prevalent in British society.

The initial intention was for such a church to provide full church facility for all Asian Christians, such as services, a community function, fellowship opportunity, well designed discipling practices and outreach, testimony and witness to the large numbers of Asians of alternate faith. It was meant for the church to be a remote entity that would , however, compliment the plethora of English Churches in London.

The brothers would hold services in their homes, the homes of others and in private halls and eventually, they worked with the wider brothers and sisters in the growing community to raise funds and sponsored Pastor Johnson from Pakistan who then led the early church from St Marys Church, Upper Street, Islington (approx 1968). The brothers who did not seek a crown left the church in the hands of a new administration (approx 1973 they moved address) in the capable hands of the then full time pastor. What many people did not realise, was that large donations were made by the 3 feverish brothers invigorated and frenzied by the potential church and a new ability to outreach to Asians outside the Christian world.

The Anniversary events of the church became major Asian Christian Conferences and our community would travel from across the country to be there. The church eventually moved to All Saints Church, Holloway and then ended abruptly in the 90's.

My father Waheeb Chowdhry one of the 3 brothers also established an Annual Asian Christian Convention at Ilford, that became a well known, well attended and well loved event within the Asian Christian Calendar. Funding much of the event from his own pocket, fuelled with the desire to promote his community amongst the wider Christian community and faith organisations with interesting, peaceful and intelligent debates with Muslim, Hindu and Sikh leaders facilitated within the two day whole day event. This was the only event of its type that was as wide reaching and had input from African, Far Eastern and other Continental Churches. Waheeb Chowdhry carried on his courageous efforts (often faced with a barrage of condescension) to educate our people against preconceived prejudices, isolationism and promoted Christian edification and outreach until he lost his mobility after a series of 3 strokes in one day in 1996. In his lifetime he organised the first ever Asian Christian Community Centre in 1984, this was a beacon project at the time as the services it provided such as learning opportunities, creche facilities, events, dance classes, health sessions where typically the domain of council led organisations - yet the "Redbrige Asian Christian Community Centre" (funded by a Manpowers Services grant) led the way for other faith and community centres to develop on the same model. Waheeb Chowdhry also started several Youth Clubs one of Which is still called Asian Club (focused on Outreach) and is running today at Clementswood Baptist Church. He passed away on the 3rd November 2006

Najeeb Chowdhry was a gifted musician and passed away in October 2005.

Mujeeb Chowdhry is still a lead voice in our community and has done as much for our community as any other leader - a part of the organising committee for the recent protests.

To date these pioneering heroes, ahead of their time and dedicated to the advancement of Christ's kingdom throughout their lives, have not been acknowledged for their sterling, essential work for the development of our community through its nascent phase.

I received an award from the Federation of Pakistani Christians for my Progress in Business, and spoke then about the need to recognise the works of our forefathers. Dr Peter the Chairman of this Group kindly spoke about his memory of the first Church and confirmed he would look into addressing this matter. At the time I asked if a posthumous award could be given to Najeeb and Waheeb Chowdhry, who have both now passed away without the recognition they deserved. Perhaps this could be collected by the remaining founder Mujeeb Chowdhry who still lives and as my "Taia" is a lead figure for our family. If you like the idea please share your comments...

I hope this history lesson has been worthwile, only you can advise?

Message From Lee Scott MP!

I wrote an email to our honourable MP Lee Scott:

Hi Lee,

Re: My recent email to David Cameron and William Hague.

Could you please try and obtain a response from the Shadow Foreign Secretary and the Leader of the Conservative Party….? Please advise Wilson

He responded yesterday by stating (sic):

"Dear Wilson I do not know when I will see them but I will contact his office in morning Regards Lee"

This country's leadership is starting to take notice of our campaign - it is thus imperative for us to continue the pressure towards change!

Over 50 hits have been made to this blog and over 300 pages have been read in the space of a mere few days. Please keep forwarding this blog to other brothers and sisters.

Message From Mike Gapes MP!

Today I have received the following email from the Honourable Mike Gapes MP.

Dear Wilson,

Thank you for your message. The contents have been noted. I share your concerns attacks on Christians in Pakistan.

If you wish me to make representations on this matter please send me a letter on this issue to the address below including your full address .

I will then be able to write to The Foreign Secretary and respond to you when I receive his reply.

Yours sincerely

Mike Gapes
Labour and Co-operative
Member of Parliament for Ilford South
House of Commons
London SW1A OAA
0207 219 6485

I am re-sending the letter sent to the Prime Minister and would ask that others follow suit. I should add that he is the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee!! Things are really progressing!

Monday 24 August 2009

Thank You Sunrise Radio!

True to their word Sunrise Radio covered the Pakistani Embassy protest in their news feature repeated throughout the day. They are the first major secular media organisation to put any effort into highlighting our concerns. We need to work harder if we are to raise the profile of our campaign and highlight the plights of our Christian community in Pakistan Her is a link to the story, I am tryimg to get a recording of the news feature:

A copy of the letter sent to Gordon Brown Prime Minister and our Foreign Secretary David Milliband - Their response too!

Dear Prime Minister Gordon Brown/Foreign Secretary David Milliband MP,

Re: The Plight of Pakistani Christians.

There have been several major cases of Pakistani Christians being slaughtered by fundamentalists, who fuel rural Muslim communities into killing sprees, erupting in the massacre of entire Christian colonies.Christians in Pakistan are in constant fear of their lives and violent incidents are increasing since the war against terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The allied war effort has increased Islamic fundamentalist apprehension towards western governments and reciprocally established Christian minority (seen as a western culture) communities living in Pakistan.

Only recently (1st august 2009) in Gojra (near Faisalabad) over 120 homes and two churches were razed to the ground in a burning inferno instigated by rampaging fanatical Muslims - filled with rage from the allegations that a Quran had been ripped to pieces by a Christian family celebrating a wedding. Moreover, renegade clerics allegedly encouraged the herding of Christians into these buildings on the threat of violence before initiating the extreme arson attack.

Furthermore, the assailants then lay before emergency vehicles, preventing Fire and Ambulance services proper access to the agonized victims – leading to a significant number of deaths and major injuries.

Allegations of burglary, theft, and rape create an intense miasma of torment.

The Police stood back and watched whilst the diabolical event erupted, however a Chief Police Officer was honest enough to clarify that the allegations of blasphemy were unfounded.There is no protection for minority religious groups from the powers enacted by Section 298A, Section 295B and Section 295c of the Pakistani Penal Code. These laws justify life imprisonment or death for any blasphemy against the prophet Mohammed or desecration of the Quran. There is no requirement for substantiation for allegations and no recourse for justice against those that utilize

the act under false pretences to fuel religious persecution or settle personal vendettas. The lack of such reciprocal provision in particular has led to numerous abuses – not that I support the act itself in any way as it infringes on the Human Rights Act and Apostasy Act.In these days of globalization and with the introduction of a whole raft of international laws for member sates of the UN. We are appealing to you as Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee and our Foreign Secretary to support our cause and campaign for justice for all religious minority groups in Pakistan. To date, no recompense has been received by the now destitute and homeless victims. Furthermore, no arrests have been made and the survivors are still being tormented by local gangs and the Local Police.I would like to arrange a meeting if permissible with yourselves and lead protagonists within the British Asian Christian community, to deduce how best to work in partnership to resolve this crises. We have recently held protest at 10 Downing street and in front of the Pakistani Embassy.

Please share your thoughts….

Kind regards

Wilson Chowdhry
British Asian Christian Association

I await a letter from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office indicated in the response from the Prime Ministers Office......

Click on the image to make the letter larger and readable!

Pakistan's Christian History - a brief whistlestop tour.

I have received this interesting and important Blog story from Kenny Masih:

"I have compiled a small list of books that can help the youth or anyone interested, to understand the history and problems of Christians of Pakistan. If you know of any more books that help, aim to gain a better understanding so we can work out a strategy and come up with some solutions, please add to the list. God Bless You"

The Invisibles: The Plights of Christians in Pakistan

About the Author:
Mr. Ramnit Lall Rahi was born to Mr. Labu Mall and Mrs. Grace L. Mall on April 10, 1933 in Budianna, Sialkot. He received his primary education at Budianna Primary Mission School and matriculation at Christian Training Institute, Bara Pathar, and Sialkot. He continued to achieve excellence in education completing his RA. at Murray College, Sialkot, and his Bachelors and Masters (History) at Gordon College Rawalpindi. In 1964 he was awarded Master of Education from Punjab University. Mr. Lall received a diploma in education and a certificate in (CAL) from London University. He now permanently resides in Britain, but his heart still yearns for the Christian community in Pakistan. It is this aspiration to serve the disadvantaged Christians in Pakistan that led him to opt for an early retirement from his profession in the U.K. His service to the community is commendable and valuable.

Christian Citizens in an Islamic State: The Pakistan Experience (Live Questions in Ethics and M) (Paperback):

"Christian Minorities in an Islamic State" deals with the important question of inter-faith relations in Pakistan, a vital region of the Islamic world which has been the scene of the rise of both Islamic militancy and partnership with the West in counter-terrorism measures. Christians are the most important religious minority of Pakistan and their status and experience is a test case of the treatment of religious minorities in an Islamic state.This book covers new ground in exploring the various factors that govern the relations between Muslims and Christians in a nation state which has been politically unstable in the past, and where the imposition of Islamic law has been controversial and problematic for religious minorities. Theodore Gabriel clarifies the history of Christian-Muslim relations in the region, explores the rise of Islamic militancy, and draws on personal interviews to determine the mind set of both Christians and Muslims in Pakistan today.

About the Author:

Theodore Gabriel is Honorary Research Fellow and Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies at the University of Gloucestershire, UK.

The Christians of Pakistan The Passion of Bishop John Joseph (Hardcover):

Description"Christian Minorities in an Islamic State" deals with the important question of inter-faith relations in Pakistan, a vital region of the Islamic world which has been the scene of the rise of both Islamic militancy and partnership with the West in counter-terrorism measures. Christians are the most important religious minority of Pakistan and their status and experience is a test case of the treatment of religious minorities in an Islamic state. This book covers new ground in exploring the various factors that govern the relations between Muslims and Christians in a nation state which has been politically unstable in the past, and where the imposition of Islamic law has been controversial and problematic for religious minorities. Theodore Gabriel clarifies the history of Christian-Muslim relations in the region, explores the rise of Islamic militancy, and draws on personal interviews to determine the mind set of both Christians and Muslims in Pakistan today.
About the Author:

"Linda Walbridge does more than analyze social and religious questions-she brings the reader into the very heart of a community that is struggling for justice and puts a human face on urgent questions of inter-religious relations that are dear to Muslims and Christians alike.."-"Bulletin Of The Royal Institute For Inter-Faith Studies Linda Walbridge was a cultural anthropologist specializing in Shi‘ism and Islam in the West. She died in 2002.


Quaid-e-Azam's Vision - Christians in Pakistan: The Battle for Justice:

When Pakistan was born in 1947, its non-Muslim minorities were solemnly assured that they would enjoy full rights as citizens of the new and Independent State. The national flag was designed in two colours - green representing Islam and white the minorities.

The nation's founding father, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah who had aimed for a democratic state based on Islamic principles of social justice, declared: "Minorities are the sacred trust of Pakistan." Christian politicians gave him their full support in the struggle for Independence, and in framing Pakistan's Constitution. Soon after Quaid-e-Azam's tragically early death, the process began which was to turn Pakistan into an Islamic Republic. As that process continued, so the constitutional rights of the minorities - and especially of those of the country's over ten million Christians - were steadily eroded.

Today Pakistani Christians are regularly jailed and even sentenced to death on false charges by a system that is designed to discriminate against them. Many are trapped by poverty, working virtually as slave labourers. However, Muslims who commit crimes against Christians - including murder, rape and kidnapping - go unpunished.

The constitutional rights of Christians and other minorities are severely curtailed and they do not have a single representative in the Pakistan Senate. George Felix's book is the story of that struggle. It is a story of cruelty and oppression, of betrayed ideals and broken promises. It is also a story of courage and determination that in the end truth and justice will prevail.

About the Author:

For more then 30 years the author of this book, George Felix and others have been involved in an ongoing struggle for the constitutional rights of their fellow Christians in Pakistan. A businessman from Lahore now based in the United Kingdom, George has sought the help of the British and Irish governments, the European Union, the United Nations, and many other international bodies in an effort to recover the constitutional rights originally given to Pakistan's minorities by the nation's founders.
He has campaigned against the blasphemy laws, against the electoral laws which deprive minorities of proper representation, the denationalisation of Christian educational institutions and against identity cards which indicate the bearer's religion.


Michael Nazir Ali Books

Too many to List
Please follow the link below

Sunday 23 August 2009

Images from the 10 Downing Street Protest!

My thanks to Kenneth Massey From Lancashire for his awesome pictures of our protest at 10 Downing Street. It evidences just how many brothers and sisters managed to respond to the call for action - with short notice. For those of you don't know the man in the light coloured suit in the last image is Bishop Michael Nazir Ali - our former Pakistani Asian Christian Bishop in the church of England!

Please follow the link about Michael Nazir Ali as much of our younger Asian Christian generation are not aware of the historical figures from our past. I will soon be writing a story detailing the trials and tribulations faced by the founders of the UK's first ever Asian Christian Church. It is important we venerate the heroes from our past as without them we would not have the structures in place now to tackle political items such as our recent campaign, nor would we have the plethora of worship and fellowship opportunities we are now blessed with.

Michael Nazir Ali addressing the amassed Christians united in their defiance of the unrighteous Balsphemy Law in Pakistan.

Taking the next step!

Many of you have asked us for our view, on how, we can progress further with our campaign for the abrogation of the pernicious Blasphemy Act from Pakistan. I think the best way forward is to put our ideas together so that we have a "joined up" approach to continuing the current impetus. With this in mind we would like to invite Asian Christians to a meeting at our offices (capacity 50) at 19:00 on Thursday 24th September. This gives me adequate time to relax and reload, after the intense pressure of event managing Redbridge Carnival.

This invite is open to young and old people and will be a brainstorming session as well as an opportunity to expand the membership of the British Asian Christian Association and its executive Committee. We will place a draft constitution on this blog tomorrow for you to read and decide on whether you bwould like to be a part of our organisation. Wilson has some wacky stunts he intends to co-ordinate and participate in - that will draw more serious media attention to our campaign.

Please do advise us if you can attend by posting on this blog. Please also initiate a feed status so you are automatically updated with our new posts.

Saturday 22 August 2009

Thank you for your support- We wanted to know our wider family were ready for positive change!

I received a very pleasant email from another brother in our community and it is inspiring me to aspire to even greater things for our community - hearing your words of support that is:


My brother Alex and I have said for a long time some gelling or cementing of relationships and a vehicle for communication was necessary, if our community was to be developed. It seems we all agree...!! This is a good start.

Calling Christians to provide testimony and witness

Wilson Chowdhry is the chairman of Redbridge Carnival - this is by far the biggest event in Redbridge. We are looking for community orientated Christians that can perform without fee for a free community event in Redbridge (Ilford). The event is a free entry and although it is completely areligious (without religious bias) I always try as an Asian Christian to increase participation from our community and the wider Christian Community. It would be a good opportunity for witness and testimony and to share the message of Jesus (Asian style)! The event is on the 5th and 6th September at Valentines Park. Opening times are from 12;00 - 20:00 both days and a procession starts from Ilford Town Centre at 12:00 on Sunday 6th September - entering the park at 14:00.

Learn more on our blogsite and our website:

Do come along and enjoy the festivities that will include:

  • Funfair
  • Circus Skills performances and all age workshop.
  • Muticultural dance, singing and theatre performances
  • Sports activities
  • Many stalls
  • International food
  • DJ workshop
We will have a number of dignatories present and it will be a very colourful day. Please let me know if you can would highlight the strong representation our community makes, to the wider Christian family!

No more second class citizens of any nation!

We have protested against the unjust Pakistani Blasphemy law that has made second class citizens of religious minorities. Citizens of Pakistan from Religious minorities live in impoverished areas, they are unable to stand for senior elected position. Highly educated people are forced to undertake menial labour roles with limited opportunities for progress. Property is sequestered under duress, livelihoods are destroyed and our daughters are being raped and forced into marriages to Muslim aggressors using the Act’s for their own pernicious devices.

We hear of atrocity after atrocity and our lobbying has no effect on a government that repeatedly ignores the clamour for change and equality. We are calling on Western Governments to enter into dialogue with Pakistan to coerce the abrogation of these despicable laws. Britain is to blame for the heightened fanaticism and acts of violence against Christians in Pakistan. There illegal war on terrorism has made innocent and vulnerable Christians a primary target for militant religious fanatics. Asian Christian brothers in many other western countries are also spearheading a long campaign of attrition, that we hope will eventually see the fruition of a new freedom for minority religious groups in Pakistan.”

I challenge citizens of this country of any faith to support the cause:

“If you believe that the atrocity that occurred in Gojra was an inhumane despicable act, please lobby your local MP’s and MEP’s to raise the issue in their respective parliaments and international summits. Please also register your concerns with the Prime Minister Gordon Brown the Foreign Secretary David Milliband, the leader of the Conservative Party David Cameron, The Conservative Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague, The Leader of the Liberal Party Nick Legg and their Shadow Foreign Secretary Edward Davey.” (the image is real)

Contact details are provided: Nick Clegg David Cameron David Milliband Edward Davey William Hague Gordon Brown

I am talking with the Green Party MEP's and will advise you of progress shortly.

We must all do our bit so please continue the good fight and cascade this blog to as many supportesr as possible!

Electronic Basphemy Law Petition!

It looks like the Bishop of Bradford David James has stolen my thunder. I had intended to create a petition on the 10 Downing Street web, however this is closed until the 7th September due to the Prime Minister being away form the country. I will be creating one from then.

Key message from David James, Bishop of Bradford:

Dear Brother and Sisters

As you will be aware, there has been considerable activity following the attacks on the Christian communities in Pakistan aiming to raise awareness of the situation with a view to trying to change the law on blasphemy and to improve the security of the Christian communitiy there. The Archbishop's statement and those of Pope Benedict and the WCC were important contributors, as were statements by a number of Muslim leaders in this country and elsewhere. We are working on a range of further initiatives in close touch with the Church in Pakistan and these include raising relief funds for those affected, a delegation of Christian and Muslim leaders led by myself on behalf of the Archbishop and an open letter which is the subject of this email:

I am looking for your support in relation to the open
Blasphemy law in Pakistan: open petition

Christians and Muslims around the world as well as people of other faiths and those who do not adhere to any religion will have been hearing with real concern, the news of the attacks on the Christian villages of Gojra and Qorian in Pakistan resulting in the deaths of at least seven innocent men, women and children. This was the latest in such attacks over many years and has attracted international condemnation from religious and political leadership in Pakistan and internationally.Following widespread discussions with Christian partners and correspondents in Pakistan, Christian and Muslim organisations in the United Kingdom and with the Pakistan authorities, there is a desire amongst many people to express their concerns to the Government of Pakistan and to press for change in the blasphemy legislation and for the protection of Christians and others who are suffering from its abuse. To this end a petition is now available to be signed electronically and can be reached by clicking here and following the instructions.
One of the causes of such attacks is the ability of extremists and others with private motivations, to incite attacks on Christians and on occasion also on Muslims; and the inability of the police and local judiciary to protect innocent people. The blasphemy laws currently in force in Pakistan provide such people with the means to incite violence and seem to have played a part in the recent incidents which led to the death of a number of Christians.

The petition will be delivered to the Pakistan Government and is intended to assist in their efforts to prevent further attacks. The more people who sign, the more effective the petition will be and we urge you to take action now by:

1. signing the petition yourself
2. by putting this letter prominently on your own and as many other websites as possible.

It is by actions such as these that people of faith and of goodwill can show their active concern for the good of the world and in this case their support of the Christian community of Pakistan

Please do sign today - one click makes it possible!



Thursday 20 August 2009

Finally A network mechanism for Asian Christians in the UK

Following a number of rushed protests organised by our lead Pakistani Christian Organisations in the UK - for which I am grateful - I felt obligated to produce this blog.

Currently, many of the organisations in our community are working aloof and remotely, as many of us are neither affiliated or aware of the existing groups. This Blog will hopefully over time, act as a focal point for enquiry into the groups working within our sector, whilst also providing updates on progress with campaigns (such as our joint efforts to fulfill a long term ambition for the abrogation of the Pakistani Blasphemy Law) and general news on conferences, lives, pressures and successes attributable to our community.

I hope this is an exciting prospect for my brothers and sisters in Christ and the wider Christian and secular readers of this blog. I would like people to come forward and volunteer to write stories and news for the Blog so please do make contact ?

Video of !0 Downing Street Protest - Note public watching from outside number 10!

In the video you will see a snippet of my public address near the end of the protest, I was also asked to lead the chanting throughout the event. This meant I could not take pictures or videos as I had at the first event. The camera person has not taken pictures or film of the wider participants of our protest and I would be grateful, if you could provide me with some pictures or films that illustrates the significant number of protesters, that were mustered in such a short space of time. It truly was a privilege to be part of a campaign of this type and again I give credit to the groups who arranged the protest. However, I must reiterate the need to continue the campaign with enhanced vigour and determination, if we are to see to fruition the removal of the unjust Blasphemy Law.

At the recent 10 Downing Street Protest we had even more Christians turn up than at the Pakistani Embassy protest. Over 300 people made the event a real success and we were approached by many Christians from non Asian backgrounds and people from wider faiths who all supported our cause. It was heartening that on the day we received so much support for our endeavours and even more importantly, many people were reached that had no previous knowledge of the issues in Pakistan or their frequency.

I was called to the front to talk about the incidents in Pakistan and ensured that my talk was short one-liners, allowing crowd participation. Recognising the need to preach to the masses rather than ourselves I quickly resorted to high impact chanting that amassed a crowd of viewers on the other side. Perhaps in future TV interviews could be undertaken to the side of the protest (besides images of speakers at the side of a live protest have more impact than a speaker before a silent crowd!!??), rather than right at the front centre preventing people from chanting pertinent slogans that had real impact. those outside of our protest group indicated our chants and banners had the most affect. Please share your thoughts....?
Too many of our elders believe that chanting is just noise and don't really understand that such "noise" has been used since the beginning of time to raise political views. They also give little opportunity to our youth to make their voices heard. It is time this changed so that we can work more cohesively and allow the organic growth of new leaders from posterity. Don't get me wrong all credit goes to the Leadership young and old involved in organising the event!
Police Officer's remarked on how civilised a group we were. One even stated that he wished all political demonstrations were held in the manner that we conducted ourselves. This is an indication of our peaceful protesting that is commensurate with our Christian conviction. Well done one and all.

It is not often Police would be willing to enter into photographs and I thank the really friendly and supportive police that ensured our protest was a safe and enjoyable one. This is only another step in our campaign for justice in Pakistan and I am interested in hearing from people how we can proceed further in pushing for the abrogation of the Blasphemy Law in Pakistan.

Kind words of support! - much needed too!

We have received feedback from 3 significant people outside our Asian Christian Community, who have read this blog and felt it appropriate, to comment and provide words of support. From the Green Party a lead voice has stated:

"Well done to Chadwell Green for reporting on this tragic event and the solidarity demonstration. If he (or you) would like to put together a draft press release for Scott in the press office, who had his first day back today after a well earned holiday, I'm sure he'd be delighted.I think this is a good reminder to everyone that due to the fact we have a very understaffed press office if you don't tell them something is happening and help them develop a response then they don't have much time to do much more than firefight and cover their core tasks. It's up to all of us as a party to respond to events and when we don't it's a collective failure - not that we should beat ourselves up about the fact that as a small party we can't respond to or do everything."

We will of course be writing an appropriate article for Green Party Release!

Already a memeber of the Green Party has written a piece on his blog:

MP Lee Scott (Ilford North) could not come to our protest due to a prior commitment, however he stated:

"Dear Wilson, by way of this email please pass on that I call for equal rights for all whatever there religion. Regards Lee"

Lee has also asked me to contact William Hague Shadow Foreign Secretary and I am awaiting a response.

We have also received an email from Freddy O'neill from the well known pressure group - Fathers 4 Justice.

"Hi Wilson,we saw your protest day today. keep up the pressure, keep up the fight and keep on the good fight of faith. I was a leading member of fathers for justice, some times u have to embarrass the government to act and get in the media via action.freddie and nute. God bless u brother!"

Our campaigning is starting to have keep up the good work people!

Christian empowerment!

In Pakistan the unjust Blasphemy Law is being utilised to terrorise and subjugate are bothers and sisters in Christ and to enact atrocities such as the recent attack in Gojra (1) (2) and those in the past at Sangla Hill and Shanti Nagar. Here in the UK however, it would seem that Christians are being continuously marginalised. In the picture I show an Asian Christian event banner that was ripped down at South Park in Ilford - "Paigaam-e-Kushkabri". When I tried to complain about the incident to the local paper I was being quizzed in a manner that could have suggested that I was targetting a particular faith. To protect myself I asked to be kept annonymous and referred to the incident as one perpetrated by someone avers to faith rather than Christianity. I do have my suppositions to teh make-up of suach a perpetrator but had to and still am choosing reticence to express this view. Why can we not speak openly about certain faiths when Christianity can be so slandered in this country....? Food for thought...? Why not share yours....!
The event was a reall succes with 1000's attending and I even got a mention in the local press as a community figure who attended. The perpetrators of the ripped banner have not been caught, however, you can see I made some makeshift changes to ensure people were still aware of the most excellent western church collaboration with the Asian Church. The Event was sponsored and put on by the following Ilford Churches:
City Gates
High Road Baptist Church
Cranbrook Baptist Church
Kings Church
Clementswood Baptist Church

What is the British Asian Christian Association about....?

Traditionally, both in the UK and Pakistan - Pakistani Christian Organisation's are caught up in the values and etiquette's surrounding leadership that has resulted in top heavy direction from elders. "BPCA "intends to widen the scope of our community by reacting to the youth and young peoples voice. Much of the reason why we have had little impact in the numerous campaigns, specifically initiated for the Abrogation of the Section 298A, Section 295B and Section 295 C of the Pakistani Penal Code (Blasphemy Law), is much due to the use of outdated political practices, employed by a leadership that is aged and rather averse to newer ideologies. By working with younger Pakistani eople in conjunction with the older figureheads, we intend to create a more cohesive, forward thinking body of Pakistani Christians that can work together for the betterment of the lives of Christians in the UK and Pakistan.

In particular, I should add we as an organisation do want to express the Britishness of our community (hence the aptly chosen name of our group). Too many organisations serving our community focus only on the Asian side with services and events being delivered in Urdu and Punjabi, without recourse to the English only speaking minority (I am one of them). This poses the question of how are we to integrate with wider Christian or secular organisations when campaigning or on outreach programmes...? We wish to better integrate local Pakistani dialects with English at all Pakistani Christian events and Campaigns to promote wider participation and inclusiveness.

Our Vision:

To create a network of Pakistanis united in Christ, focused on better quality of life, fellowship and religious freedom for Christians in Pakistan and the UK.

Our Objectives:

  1. To promote Christ in all that we do.
  2. To campaign for the abrogation of the unjust Blasphemy Law section 298A and Section 295 B&C of the Pakistan Penal CODE.
  3. To campaign for the end of 2nd class citizenship in Pakistan.
  4. To provide a social network for Pakistani Christians.
  5. To update Pakistani Christians on news of successes, campaigns, tragedies, events and other matters attributable or impacting on our community.
  6. To hold public events to promote and support fellowship, Christian learning, and promote better awareness of our community.
  7. To promote better integration between our community and wider Christian organisations
  8. To raise funds to support outreach, capacity building and tragedy response programmes devised by our committee.

If you would to join our organisation please do make contact.