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Saturday, 19 December 2009

Disappointing turnout but major success!

Image of Baroness Caroline Cox

The weather must have shaken the fickle spirits of those weaker in the faith over this weekend. We will pray for dominion and strength for those who suffer this ailment - which I call spiritual paralysis or if your prefer SUPINE spongiform encephalopathy (SSE). If you need me to explain or translate the previous just ask..?

On a dreary cold day, for which God blessed us with a sparkling sun to counter the chill wind, we had a surprisingly low Asian Christian turnout. Overall around 12o people attended of which two dignitaries include Baroness Cox (a peer who sits on the House of Lords to clarify) and Jean Lambert a Green party MEP for London and consequently the Lead on South Asian Affairs such as those in Pakistan, that we are campaigning for. We have never in our history of protests had a such an elite, powerful or influential presence at our campaigns.

The two of them thrilled the more hardy participants at our event, who were made up of the Sikh Community, the Hindu community, the Jewish Community and even Muslims. Yet barring my family, we had a paltry 25 or so Pakistani and Indian Christians. Why is it, we as a people, must always rely on other communities to raise our concerns..? What is it that prevents the Pastors in our churches from unifying our people for campaigns such as this one. Personally, I believe it is protectionism and illustrates the need to cling onto authority and power - hardly Christian virtues, but many would believe this to be rife in our community.

The list of high profile guests at our event included:

  • Helen Lowe for Women Against Fundametalism
  • Clara Connolly for Women Against Fundamentalism
  • Sukhwant Dhaliwal for Women against Fundamentalism
  • Ranbir Singh Leader of the Hindu Human Rights Group
  • Jasdev Rai Leader of the Sikh Human Rights Group
  • The Baroness Cox, of Queensbury in Greater London
  • London MEP Jean Lambert (Green Party)

We were somewhat surprised that some of our leaders failed to turn up the meeting with the MEP or to form part of the delegation to 10 Downing Street today. However, when we release the minutes from our private audience with the MEP, those that failed to turn up may recognise what an opportunity they have missed. Jean Lambert has shown great support for our cause and has agreed to take up the concerns we raised with the new Pakistani Ambassador to the EU.

If there are people that wish to blame the weather please explain how a concerned whit Christian from Manchester came by coach that arrived in London at 06:00? Why did snow and the cold not perturb MEP Jean Lambert or Baroness Cox. Our community has a lot to answer for!

The Pakistani Christian Contingent included my 2 year old daughter Naomi, my 6 year old Hannah, my niece Sophia 8 years old and my 10 year old nephew Asher. These young children braved the weather and returned home safe sound and without affliction - praise God. See our Lord does work wonders!! My 84 year old uncle Dr Mujeeb Chowdhry came and spoke (the Founder of the first ever Asian Christian Church in the UK). He had to travel from Surrey by train he found the energy and enlightened us all.

The Christian Community in Pakistan continues to invite the "Old Guard" from the UK to their meetings. I read the recent report from the Minorities affair meeting in Pakistan. Members discussed the most trivial of matters at this conferences in Pakistan - regurgitating the same debates we have always done that now continually revives a feeling of nauseous reminisce .

Here is an extract from the most recent minutes - does it sound all to familiar?

"Mr. Nazir Qaiser introduced the objectives of International Minorities Conference 2009 and said,” We want Pakistan a truly democratic state on the equal citizenship. Where there is no discrimination of any citizen on any basis. It must be shaped according to the vision of its pioneer.”

Allama Syed Zaheer Hashmi, Central President, Ulma-e-Mashaikh Wing, Pakistan Peoples Party said, “ The address of the Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah that he delivered in the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on August 11, 1947 must be included as a part of the constitution of Pakistan and the biased Objective Resolution which was passed in 1949 must be excluded from the constitution. State affairs must be run according to the vision of its founder which provides equal opportunity to all Pakistanis without any distinction of religion, caste or creed. Pakistan must be run according to the vision of the father of the nation that he presented in the

Ms. Asiya Nasir, A Christian Member of the Parliament of Pakistan said, “We can solve a lot of problems of the minorities, if we implement international conventions in letter and spirit. Role of the Pakistani media is biased against the Pakistani minorities. The present government of Pakistan is trying to address the problems of minorities

Ms Saima Yousaf said,” State must recognize the contribution of minorities in the creation and construction of Pakistan and in different segments of development. She also emphasized the role of Christian women in the development of Pakistan especially in the fields of education and health.

Prof Kamran James demanded democratic right of vote for the minorities.

Mr. Yousaf Akhtar Chaudhary, President, International Minorities Alliance (Germany) said, “We demand equal rights for Pakistani minorities as they are provided to the minorities in the West.”

Prof Salamat Akhtar said” Our state has deliberately ignored the contribution of minorities in the curriculum. Present day Pakistan is not according to the vision of the Quaid-e-Azam who dreamed of a secular, liberal and democratic state of Pakistan which has emerged as a theocratic state right now.

Mr. Peter Jacob, Executive Secretary, National Commission of Justice and Peace (NCJP) said,” few laws should be removed and few should be included to restore minorities’ equal status.

Ms. Kalpna Devi said,” there is too much kidnapping and forced conversion of Hindu girls in the province of Sindh and government of Pakistan is silent on this issue.

Mr. Akram Gill, A Christian Member of the Parliament of Pakistan said, “Role of the governments of Pakistan has not been very much favourable about the minorities.”

Ms. Syeda Abida Hussain, the chief Guest said,” There is sense of depression and deprivation in the religious minorities of Pakistan in acute manner. We have never discussed our tragedies in detail; we never discussed the causes of the separation of the East Wing of Pakistan. We are facing economic, socio –politico and strategic crisis right now. We should solve our problems at our own, and make Pakistan a sensitive and responsible state. She also said all religions are beautiful.”

Trust me this is not a case of de ja vu - it has all been discussed again!

Real change will not be affected by talking the same issues over and over again. It is time we focused more on aetiologiocal concerns rather than the apparent symptomatic ones. The BPCA Chairman Alex Chowdhry stirred a lively consultation meeting with Jean Lambert, which once published, will give new impetus to our campaign and excite many of our readers - so do continuing to read our blog articles.

It was great to see the number of Atheists, Sikhs, Hindus, White and Black Christians and other communities including my own Muslim friends. As a group, we have always been aware of the politics in our community and hence we opened the door to a much wider participative body and behold we have achieved a great result. What amazes me, is when I spoke at the Walthamstow Church a number of promises were made that people would join us. Every meeting I have attended this year, has been equally fruitful. Yet the familiar faces were not to be seen. We will as a group continue our focus on wider participation with respect to the attainment of our primary goal of bringing equality to Pakistan. Those from our community that would like to be a part of that process, are always welcome to join us.

What all our existing leaders need to understand is that when their lives are extinguished, there will be a need for strong people to fill the gap. Development of the next generation should be a calling not a chore or threat. Our Pakistani Christian Community has few people that can fill such a vacuum. Yet in their desire to maintain authority they are snuffing out the necessary growth our community needs. We have ensured that we involved as much of the younger members of our community as possible. we encouraged the young people to lead from the front of the protest, Jessica Harris (Alperton Church) read a bible verse and the reknowned "Voice of Jesus" provided an exhilarating performance.

Pastor Amelia Jacob, Pastor Bashir Sandhu, Dr Mujeeb Chowdhry and represented our elderly statesmen.

All in all, all who attended made a real day of it and enjoyed themselves. Those who failed to attend need not fear, you will all have a second opportunity sometime next year.


  1. Well done to the organizers and to all those that attended todays protest march. It was most friendly and your speakers were rivetting. We wish you all well and will be supporting any future events that you have planned. God bless you in your endevours to bring religious equality and an end to persecution in your motherland.Best wishes from English Defence League.

  2. It was an excellent march today. Yes, it was cold but the sky was blue and everyone was so friendly. Many people had come from outside London. I talked to women from Southampton, Dartford and Northampton. The police were low key and very well organised. Even if our leaders and the Pakistan leaders do nothing with our petition, at least we have let other Christians know that we are thinking of them and praying for them. And spending time together with other Christians is never wasted. Looking forward to the next march. With very best wishes to everyone for a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

    Nancy Ford
    Earlsfield Baptist Church

  3. I came to support you guys, but you left me out in the roll call of different religions! I'm a Jew.


  4. Thank you for your comments Nancy. It is encouraging to receive such positive and kind words 4 months of hard endeavour was put into organising our protest. We intend to arrange a better and bigger march in more salubrious weather for next year. If we do not have your email, please do forward it to us so that we can keep you informed.

    Matt, I am sorry....I am aware that Lin was sending out the information to the Jewish Community. However, I had been advised that due to the evnet being on a Sabbath it would be better not to expect anyone on the day - not that the community would not be praying for us. If I had known I would have dragged you up for your comments. Please do return to the next event and I will treat you out to lunch to make up for it. Matt, your email would be appreciated too.

  5. I was glad to attend and see some familiar faces. Will you be posting the speeches that were made yesterday? Some i could not hear fully because of either the sound system quality or my teeth were chattering too much due to the cold!

    You say: ‘We will as a group continue our focus on wider participation with respect to the attainment of our primary goal of bringing equality to Pakistan.’

    I fully support this goal. Equality there will resound around the world! On the downside, there are plenty of Muslims in this country (UK) who would bring Sharia into this country and replicate the blaspheme laws of Pakistan here.

    Thank you for your valuable work in this area.

  6. I have requested copies of the presentations at our recent peace rally. I am hoping them to have them up on the blog as soon as possible. If you become a follower you will ensure you dont miss any.

  7. Dear Brother Wilson,

    First of all I would love to congrats you over the success of the protest mach and I really appreciate that you have soft corner for those who were persecuted because of their faith.

    Me as well like you said feel that Unity is key role to change the status of current situation of Christians in Pakistan. Unity won't help only to protect against blasphemy as well as in daily routine life when Christians are treated like a slaves in Pakistan. Well some I am not mentioning those who have well to do life or good jobs I mean to so those who are very poor and helpless in Pakistan and whose number is more then those who are having good life.

    I experienced my self lack of Unity when no one in Pakistan want to speak on my behalf among those who I know personally, when I got the false case of blasphemy because every one was afraid that it is very sensitive issue. I really appreciate Mr. Xavier efforts who is trying to fight on my behalf to prove that I am innocent and allegation I have are wrong in court.

    I am sorry to mention and no doubt that I do condemn the act but just mentioning because we need to be encouraged. The time when there were cartoon published in Denmark whole Muslim world stand against it and no one again has courage to do such act again. No doubt killing of persons in not a small issue as well.

    As a Christian it is your duty as well as it is written "If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." 1 John 3:17-18

    I request as well like you all that whenever such events are held every one should think of their brothers and sisters in Christ who are living in constant fear in Pakistan.


    Qaiser Ayub

    Best Regards,

  8. My Dear Wilson,

    Our Lord bless you richly for the massive task you have undertaken. I quite realise the difficulty & disappointment you face at times - doesn't matter. Instead just think about His cross and all that He stood for. You've decided to take up His cross & follow Him - just do it.

    All of us Pakistan Christians should be extremely thankful to people such as yourselves who are raising voices on our behalf. Try not to be disappointed at the lack of support & recognition. You will get all of it only when the Lord gives it, not sooner.

    I live in Lahore, Pakistan, and I completely understand how disappointed you must be at the laziness & disinterest of pastors. Having witnessed their attitudes for the last 60 years I can only say, expect nothing better from pastors - just ignore them and continue the Lord's work.

    Kind regards,

    Philip Lall

  9. Very impressive, Wilson. May the good Lord bless you abundantly?

  10. Pastor Pritam Singh Sandhu21 December 2009 at 10:10

    Dear Wilson,

    1. Greetings to you from South Asian Global Convention -

    2. Thank you for writing this email to us.

    3. We will pray that the needs destitute brothers and sisters of Gojra, Sumbrial and Korian will be met.

    With every blessing to you,

    Susanna Kumari, Administrative Secretary

    for Pastor Pritam Singh Sandhu
    Founder, South Asian Connection
    Pastor, South Asian International Fellowship
    International Coordinator SAGC 2009

    South Asian Global Convention SAGC 2009
    LOCATION: Singapore. THEME: "Beyond Boundaries" DATES: 22-26 July 2009
    3rd International Gathering of South Asian Youth and Young Adults for Mission Mobilization

  11. Dear Wilson,

    Congratulations on your faith, courage and determination to speak and work for those suffering oppression and persecution.

    You and your people will be especially in my thoughts and prayers this Christmas and in the year to come.

    With love in Christ,

    Caroline Cox.

  12. Very impressive, Wilson. May the good Lord bless you abundantly?

  13. Morning Bro
    Yes i was cold day but hopefully Good has come out of it. it was great to see people from other faiths. Bit disappointed on the numbers; its always Good to support ours families in Christ both here and in Pakistan

    May God Bless His purpose in Our life's.

  14. Dear friends

    Well done on the demonstration day, and may the Lord bless you in everything you want to do for his people.

    Tanweer Akhtar.

  15. Dear Matt
    I'm glad that you were there representing the Jews! We are right behind Wilson and the struggle of minorities in Pakistan for equal rights. Congratulations Wilson on a very successful event.
    Lyn Julius
    Harif - Jews of the Middle East and N Africa

  16. Prof Kamran James (FC College)30 December 2009 at 11:05

    Want to congratulate u on your great work

    Prof kamran james
    F.C College Lahore

  17. Good Morning Wilson,

    Happy Christmas to you and your family, hope you had a peacefull blessed christmas, sorry I was unable to join you on the 19th but my prayers were always with you, I hear you had a very successful day, and saw you on Camera as well. May God Bless you and we remember our brothers and sisters in Pakistan.

    Mr Eric Masih