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Friday 27 August 2010

Pukaar news has promoted our event and produced a poster - they have our thanks!

This years Redbridge Carnival will have a lot of Pakistani Christan talent including all the performers in the poster above, Hammad Baily and Sophia Hayat - Don't miss out on a great opportunity to see the best of talent our community has produced.

Our flood appeal is growing in strength!

Today we have received a generous donation of £652.00 for Harrow Baptist Church.  This was triggered after Reverend Robert Gardiner read an article in the Baptist Times, promoting our Flood Appeal.  This is our biggest donation thus far, although we are expecting a bumper haul from Redbridge Carnival.  We have now had donations from 3 white churches and are grateful that the wider Christian community has recognised the need to support Pakistani Christians.

 Thus far Asian Christian Churches are yet to send us funds, but several have confirmed that they are making collections.  We will report back to you on receipt of any donations.

Learn more about Harrow Baptist Church here:

Please pray for Harrow Baptist Church and the work they are involved in.

Thursday 26 August 2010

Hamad and Sally Baily join Redbridge Carnival's growing Pakistani Christian presence - will you!

Hammad and Sally Baily otherwise known as Voice for Jesus will be attending this years Carnival.  Hamad Bailey is one of the most recognisable performers in the Pakistani Christian Community and this is a clear indication the Pakistani Christian commitment to help the suffering of people caught up in the flood devastation.  Now it is time for members of the community to come out and support an event that is to play a pivotal role in highlighting the talent and love in our community.

Come and join us on the 11th and 12th September at Valentiines Park in Ilford, the home of one our historic conventions.  The Ilford Convention was held from the 80's to 90's and was organised by Waheeb Chowdhry my father, one of the co-founders of the first UK Asian Church.  It is with great pride that we bring back a secular event laced with much Pakistani Christian influence to Ilford -where those famous and stimulating worship, praise and learning conferences took place.

Tuesday 24 August 2010

Naeem John joins the List of Performers at Redbridge Carnival!

Brother Romail Gulzar has confirmed that he will be joined by Naeem John at this years Redbridge Carnival.  This is a mouthwatering prospect, Naeem is a very established and well known modern Christain Ghazal singer.  We are still hoping other will come out and join us for what looks set to be a very exciting Redbridge Carnival.

See Naeem John perform on the video link below:

Sophia Hayat to perform at Redbridge Carnival!

Sophia Hayat one of Britain's foremost up and coming Asian actors and singers, is to perform live at Redbridge Carnival.  Sophia Hayat is a recent convert from Islam to Christianity and was interviewed by the BBC after writing a book about her youth and her kidnapping by her parents:

She was first noticed as a potential star at a Zee TV Carnival.  Form here she went on to present a show called "sorted" that made her a well know name amongst the Asian Community.  She has made immense success since then including appearing on "Footballers Wives", "Waterloo Road", and "Absolute Power". 

She wrote a song in the aftermath of the Pakistani Earthquake last year and will be singing an adapted version at Carnival this year which is raising funds for the "BPCA Flood Appeal".  We do hope other Churches will join us and contribute to this appeal to show that Pakistani Christians care for Pakistan.

Here is a link to her performance at the Albert hall:

Learn more about Sophia by clicking the link below:

Saturday 21 August 2010

Redbridge Carnival has announced that the BPCA Flood appeal will be their chosen charity

Redbridge Carnival have announced that the British Pakistani Christian Association Flood Appeal will be their chosen charity.  We are asking our Pakistani Christian community across the UK to come to the event and share in a multicultural, and multi faith experience that will serve great purpose in highlighting that Pakistani Christians are a reality and that we care for Pakistan.

We are seeking performances such as singing, dancing and drama form churches or groups in our community.  We are also seeking some keynote speakers such as Pastors or Association Chairman.  The theme for the event is Community Cohesion which is subject close to all our hearts as this is exactly what we wish to see for our persecuted family in Pakistan. 

Already Romail Gulzaar one of our more prominent figures has thrown his hat into the ring and has agreed to sing at Carnival.  Below is a video link to the song he will be performing:

We will also have Nish Performing and here are some links to some of her performances:

The event is to be held on the 11th and 12th September from 12:00 - 19:00.  Moreover, there will also be a procession through Ilford Town Centre starting at 12:00 and arriving at the event at 14:00.

Date:   11th - 12th September 2010
Time:   12:00 - 19:00
Venue:  Valentines Park and Ilford Town Centre

There will be a variety of Free Punjabi Music, Khatak Dancing, Egyptian Dancing, Costume Dance, Drama, a Funfair, Free Sporting activities, various food stalls, and other commercial stalls.   Do come along.

The event is normally free, however, this year we are charging a £1.00 entry fee for adults and 50p for Children.

Learn more about Redbridge Carnival here:

Undemocratic Forces Strengthened by Pakistani Government’s Sluggish Response to Flood Devastation

Here is an article written by Asif Aqeel from the European Center for Law and Justice.  It is a very well written piece and poses an interesting argument based on the inability of the Pakistan Government to react to the purposeful need of flood protection and energy generation in Pakistan. Although I am still to be convinced that a series of dams could completely negate the powerful floods that have inundated our Pakistani homeland, in recent weeks, I do firmly believe that a stronger serious of dams could have mitigated much of the devastation, that has arisen from lack of such provision.  It would outwardly seem unwise not to adopt a hydro-power scheme associated with any future flood protection dams or other initiative.  However, if it truly is petty politics that is creating the trammel to progress, then perhaps our only solution is to pray for a new Government.  The existing political power in Pakistan is too insouciant, inefficient and corrupt to serves the needs of a project of such grand scale and complexity.  Read more below:

August 17, 2010

By Asif Aqeel

Asif Aqeel is the Executive Director of European Center for Law and Justice’s (ECLJ) office in Lahore, Pakistan. Following is the article by Asif on the recent floods in Pakistan and the Pakistani Government’s response to protect the Pakistani citizens.

Pakistan has recently been hit by the worst episode of flooding in the country’s sixty-three-year history. Unfortunately, the painfully slow response from the democratically-elected government has brought a bad name to democracy, exposing deficiencies in planning and the callousness of politicians towards flood victims. In the early days of flooding, no politician, especially from the incumbent party, was seen in the devastated areas and victims complained that the government was not present anywhere to help them.

With a population of 170 million, Pakistan is one of the fastest growing nations in the world. However, despite the fact that sixty percent of Pakistan’s population is engaged in the agricultural industry, there is still not enough food for the entire nation.. Sugar and wheat are often imported simply because water is scarce. The main reason is the country’s inability to store the Indus River’s water that descends after glaciers on the Himalayas melt during the summer. Pakistan’s inability to store water has also caused power outages because electricity is mainly generated through hydropower. Since 2007, the country’s economy has suffered from power outages ranging from six to eighteen hours at a time.

This catastrophic flooding, water shortage, and electricity shortfall could have been avoided if Pakistan had built proposed dams on the Indus River.[i] Construction of a dam in the Punjab province at Kalabagh has been under consideration for the last four decades, but landlords in the southern provinces of Punjab and Sindh have vehemently opposed it, saying that it would grant even more control to the already-rich Central Punjab province. These petty politics have contributed to the devastating floods, which have affected one-tenth of the population.

All five provinces of Pakistan, Azad Jammu, and Kashmir have been hit by these floods, which have affected fourteen million people and destroyed 895,200 houses.[ii] Although the official number of the people killed in the floods is around 1,600, the number is expected to rise dramatically as the waters recede and people report their missing loved ones. The floods have severely affected the agricultural industry, Pakistan’s biggest industry, by destroying an estimated 1.7 million acres of farmland.[iii] World Bank President Robert Zoellick estimates that the floods have destroyed crops worth around $1 billion.[iv] United Nations Secretary General Ki Moon claimed he has never before seen anything like the catastrophe in Pakistan.[v] Just to cope with the devastation, th[vi]e United Nations estimates that Pakistan will need billions of dollars, which will “further strain[] a country already dependent on foreign aid to prop up its economy and back its war against Islamist militants.”[vii]

Moreover, deforestation has contributed to making these floods worse. Construction workers have been removing sand from the banks of the Indus river. Until last year, when the Taliban was removed from the Swat valley, it had sold so many acres of forest wood to fuel its terrorist operations that a government official said that “the losses suffered by forests in the last one year [are] more than the losses of the last two decades.”[viii] As a result, flood water has easily spread through the Swat valley and has caused several heavy mudslides, burying dozens of victims.

Democracy in Pakistan has only been in existence since 2008, following a nine-year lapse of military rule, and the incumbent government’s careless response may be detrimental to Pakistan’s frail democracy. Not only has the government been accused of a slow response, but influential landlords and government parliamentarians have been accused of diverting water from populated areas in order to save their crops. For example, Federal Sports Minister Ejaz Jakharani tried to divert flood water to Jaffarabad and Dera Allah Yar by breaching the Jamali bypass.[ix] Federal Labor Minister Khursheed Shah and the Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah struggled over whether the Sukkur Barrage should be breached to divert flood waters to the plains or be allowed to submerge Sukkur and Hyderabad.

The government’s poor response has even invited military involvement. The army had to get involved over the Sukkur Barrage struggle,[x] and the government may “face[] the threat of social unrest or even military takeover after its shambolic response to the floods.”[xi] Some disagree as to the level of future involvement, arguing that, “[d]espite the government's perceived failure to tackle the crisis, a military coup is unlikely. The army's priority is fighting Taliban insurgents, and seizing power during a disaster would make no sense . . . .”[xii] Nevertheless, the government’s initial sluggish response has threatened the democratic process in Pakistan and provided an avenue for military control..

The slow progress on relief and rehabilitation has also provided opportunities for Islamic militant groups to gain a foothold in devastated communities. Although the Pakistani government drove the Taliban from the Swat valley last year, their response to the floods may “jeopardize those gains.”[xiii] Apart from the threat of the Taliban in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), due to the government’s slow response, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) have become more active in providing relief. The LeT was declared a Foreign Terrorist Organization on December 26, 2001 and since then it has changed its name to Jamaat-ud-Dawa to avoid restrictions.[xiv] Dunya TV channel showed how Jamaat-ud-Dawa was working to rescue people while the government was unable to reach these remote areas. Before the floods, LeT’s flag was not commonly seen in the city of Lahore. Recently, however, the organization has put up its flag and set up relief camps on several roads, taking donations and showing their presence and work in affected areas. Moreover, the public is more sympathetic towards these types groups and is convinced that funds should only be handed to the army or religious outfits because they believe the Pakistani government consists of people who only care for themselves.

The Pakistani government must respond to the catastrophe in tangible ways to demonstrate that democracy can work for its people. The floods have not yet abated, the stench of dead animals is ubiquitous, and displaced families are becoming sick with cholera and diarrhea. Food and shelter are scarce, forcing young children to try to collect grains of spilt rice. The near future holds even greater challenges as poverty, homelessness, and unemployment will inevitably continue to rise in affected areas. We need to make a collective effort to support Pakistan’s democracy to demonstrate that, even in the wake of a disaster of this magnitude, a democratically-elected government can still ensure the rights and safety of its citizens.

[i] Zahid Hussain and Tom Wright, Pakistan Flood Stirs Ire Over Dam Delay, Wall St. J., August 11, 2010, Link.

[ii] Urgent cry for help as death toll rises from Pakistan flooding, cnn (August 16, 2010), Link.

The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Yousuf Raza Gillani, says that more than twenty million people have been affected. Floods affect 20m people - Pakistan PM Gilani, bbc (August 14, 2010, 13:30 ET), Link.

[iii] Nahil Toosi & Munir Ahmed, Cholera confirmed in Pakistani flood disaster, The Associated Press (August 14, 2010), Link.

[iv] Aija Braslina, World Bank chief says $1 bln of Pakistan crops lost, Reuters (August 13, 2010), Link.

[v] Ban: Never seen anything like Pakistan devastation, CNN (August 15, 2010), Link.


[vii] Sebastian Abbot, Pakistan needs billions to recover from floods, The Associated Press (August 8, 2010), Link.

[viii] Tom Burghardt, The Political Economy of Taliban Terror in Swat Valley, Global Research (April 8, 2009), Link.

[ix] Saleem Shahid, M.H. Khan & Waseem Shamsi, Raging waters enter Jaffarabad, (August 15, 2010), Link.

[x] Imtiaz Ahmad, Pak army stages flood coup, Hindustan Times, August 10, 2010, Link.

[xi] Saeed Shah, Pakistan flood response prompts rising anti-government resentment, The Guardian (August 13, 2010), Link.

[xii] Robert Birsel, UN says no aid yet for 6 mln flood victims in Pakistan, Reuters (August 14, 2010), Link, Link.

[xiii] Griff Witte, Flooding's devastation in Pakistan is seen as opportunity for Taliban, Wash. Post, August 9, 2010, Link.

[xiv] U.S. Dep’t of State, Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Country Reports on Terrorism (2009), available at Link.

Tuesday 17 August 2010

BPCA Flood Appeal - we have raised £500 in our first week!

The recent deluge in Pakistan has decimated the country and has made millions homeless across the country. Conservative estimates indicate that around 700,000 people have been made homeless and that 3million people have been affected by the floods. Newer reported figures of around 14 million people having been affected by the floods illustrate that the destruction and desolation affecting Pakistan are the worst in their known history.

Charities up and down the country have been mobilising to react to the catastrophe in an attempt to bring succour and respite to a beleaguered people, however, as road/rail and other transport links have been destroyed or made unsafe for use – most aid is arriving to vital points with significant delay and in small quantity. Some areas are inaccessible to planes and helicopters due to landing restrictions and where possible food and equipment is being thrown from great heights, causing damage. Travel in some areas is being reduced to horse and cart, small boats donkey back or pedestrian endeavour.

Reports of further inundation and continuing rains make it impossible to calculate the total impact. Moreover some reports say the worse is still to come.

The British Pakistani Christian Association has responded to the inevitable needs of the people in Pakistan, by creating a flood relief campaign. The Campaign has been broadcast on Premier Christian Radio for over 4 days after the initial reports of the disaster. 8 Local BBC Radio stations including; BBC WILTSHIRE, BBC SOLENT, BBC ESSEX, BBC MANCHESTER, BBC CAMBRIDGESHIRE, BBC NORTHANTS, BBC BRISTOL and BBC LANCASHIRE, held live interviews with Wilson Chowdhry on Sunday 7th August in the BPCA capacity, as Executive members of the South Asian Forum a wing of the Evangelical Alliance. They have all highlighted our Flood appeal which demonstrates to a wider community that Pakistani Christians exist in the UK and that we are concerned for the people of Pakistan

Read more by typing the following link into your search engine:

Our intent is to declare to the wider Pakistani Community and International People that Pakistani Christians share a love for Pakistan. We will ensure that any churches or Pakistani Christian groups involved in the fundraising are highlighted and that there is a visible accounting and traceability process for all funds.

We would appreciate if you would advise us of whether or not your churches would unite with us, in our attempt to bring some restitution to the harshly affected people of Pakistan.

In the coming weeks your churches will be contacted via telephone to confirm commitment and we hope that as many of you as possible will pledge support for what is a very worthy cause.

Monday 16 August 2010

August 11 – A day to Raise the Voice of Voiceless Pakistani Christians” – Protest in The Hague (Netherlands)

I received a report for the Dutch Pakistani Christian Black Day Protest from Watson Gill:

Pakistani Christians in Netherlands held a “Peaceful Protest Gathering” on Wednesday August 11, 2010 at 2:00pm in front of Pakistan Embassy in The Hague to raise the voice of suffering Christians of Pakistan, as they have been suffering the violence, discrimination and terror in the land of their birth for decades.

The Pakistani Dutch Christian community leadership has decided not to meet any of the Pakistani government officials at the Embassy to hand over the traditional petition in order to show the deep concern that their formally-written requests have given no response in the past.

After recording their protest and peaceful demonstration protesters marched to Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague, led by Watson Gill, Johnson William, Robin Javed Gill, Morris and other prominent figures of the Pakistani Dutch Christian community, to present the petition, supporting the repeal of the blasphemy law in Pakistan, to the Foreign Ministry officials.

Friday 13 August 2010

God Bless Pakistan Rally!

Here is a message from Sheraz Anwar about a peace Rally in Sialkot tomorrow:

Tomorrow · 8:00am - 8:00pm

Location Sialkot Pakistan

Christian Town

Sialkot, Pakistan

More Info This rally is to offer tribute to our great leaders Mr. S.P. Singha (Sataya Parkash) and Mr. Fazal Elahi. Without them Punjab would not have been a part of Pakistan. It is to salute all of their efforts and endeavors which resulted as PAKISTAN.

Mr. Sataya Parkash Singha:

SP Singha was born on April 26, 1893, in Pasrur. After getting record marks in his matriculation examination, he joined FC College in Lahore and graduated from S...t. Stephen’s College in Delhi. He returned to Lahore to become the Registrar of the Punjab University. His pioneering work on improving the examination system won him many admirers, and he was made a Dewan Bahadar.

In 1936, he became a leader of the All-India Christian Association and won the 1937 elections to the Punjab Assembly. Later in the Sir Khizer Hayat Tiwana government, he was elected the Punjab Assembly speaker. Thus history had placed him in a unique position when the vote for Pakistan was taken in the Punjab Assembly. The Resolution for Pakistan was short by three votes. Speaker SP Singha urged his Christian members to vote for Jinnah, which they willingly did. Even then it was a tied vote. After much though, and tension in the house, SP Singha voted for Pakistan.

You are welcome to join this rally. The rally will start from Christian Town Sialkot and its route includes all the main areas of Sialkot. Assemblies of God Church is the host of this event. On behalf of Pastor Sumbal Shahzad Khokhar (Pastor Incharge) , I welcome you to come and celebrate independence day with us. We have planned to sing Christian Hymns, songs and Patriotic songs with the A.O.G. choir. Let us be together on August 14, 2010 and be a source of blessing for each other and our motherland.

Thank you very much.

Black Day Protest 11th August 2010

Stop the persecution!
Javaid Iqbal of Christian Social Link hands petition to Aftab Hussain Khan Head of Chancery at the Pakistani Embassy.
Reverend John Bosco and Edgar Money participate in Petition delegation
The BPCA written signboard clearly spells out what we are campaigning for!
A group shot of the amassed protesters.

The missing "C" in the word black indicates our christian family that failed to turn up at the event.
Although we can not be seen in the picture Ruby Akhtar, Wilson Chowdhry, Alex Chowdhry and Atiq Chowdhry from the BPCA were all present.
Around 50 protesters joined to voice concerns about the inequality and persecution that makes life for minorities in Paistan intolerable.
Takeen with BPCA member Gerald Singh (at least one of us was in the photos..ahem...)
I think the sign was meant to read stop the atrocities to Christians in Pakistan and was not meant to say Christians are an atrocity - ha ha!

The BPCA got behind Christian Link on their protest held on the 11th August 2010.  The event was a good success with estimations of around 50 people in attendance on short notice.  Both Alex Chowdhry and Wilson Chowdhry were invited to speak at the event and the BPCA provided placards and a banner for the event (our banner unfortunately is just outside the cropped images shown above). 

Wilson Chowdhry wrote a press release for Black Day 2 that was circulated to various media and resulted in Sunrise Radio and Premier Christian Radio interviews:

We held out a supportive hand to Christian Social link and many of you will recognise the cross in the pictures as the one used at all BPCA protests.  Wilson also provided 2 megaphones that were of great use as they amplified sound more significantly than those first used.  we are trying to create a spirit of cooperation and hope that other churches and associations recognise the need to work in a more harmonious manner.

We connected with new members of the Pakistani Christian family at the event and are looking forward to forging a strong relationship with them.  Moreover, we have completed some petitions at the event and are going top send them by post to the UK Prime Minister and Pakistan High Commission with a letter requesting a response to our concerns.

Wednesday 11 August 2010

Recent videos of our work.

Here is a video of our recent protest march on the 31st July 2010:

The four Videos of our recent interview with Bishop Michael Reid have now been posted on You tube you can see them by clicking the links below:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Monday 9 August 2010

BPCA Protests at Centenary Square

Get ready we have an army of Christians soldiers ready to fight for our Pakistani family!
Small in number but loud in voice!
Where 3 are gathered in my name there shall I be also!

At Centenary Square on the 7th of August President Zirdari held what he call's his final rally In Birmingham.  It was a day of shame for Pakistan, in which our President was heckled at as a member of his audience in the invite-only PPP Party Conference, threw his shoes at the embarrassed Primeminister.  The incident surmises the bitter resentment all Pakistani's and those of Pakistani origin have towards the President for taking a lavish tour of Europe, while his country faces the worst Natural Disaster in it's history.

The BPCA supported the protesters in their condemnation of the President's continued tour of Europe while his people are suffering.  We also took the opportunity to highlight to many the on-going suffering of Pakistani Christians and other minority faith groups.

In the meanwhile, rains increase in Pakistan and flooding has ravaged almost the entire country during the last two days.  It is said that over 14Million people have been affected by the flooding and worse may yet be to come.  We are asking Christians up and down the country to continue to pray for respite from the torrid weather conditions to the beleaguered people of Pakistan.  We are also asking for donations to be made to our "Flood Appeal" it is essential that as a community we show how much we care for the land of our forefathers, if we are to ask for our communities to be treated fairer.

Most of the media ignored our protest, mainly because their was only 3 of us that attended.  However though small in number, we were a loud voice and gain support from a number of people, one white Christian Girl joined us in our protest and a Muslim man helped us with holding our banner, throughout our protest.  Let this be a lesson to many of us, that their are good people in all faiths and that no faith preaches violence.  It is in the hands of fanatics that religion is used to incite warfare and hatred.  The BPCA has always opened the door for multifaith cooperation, in our political ambition to bring freedom, equality and peace to all citizens of Pakistan.   Our small number equipped with two megaphones brought all the amassed Muslim groups to silence whenever we chanted.  We were also threatened, videoed and photographed by the more militant groups.  However we persevered through the hostility and were grateful to the kinder Muslim protesters, who showed support for our concerns.

We have been advised that GEO TV filmed clips of our protest, so we are aware the message we wished to portray was sent out to a wider audience.  The BBC also took some indepth reportage of the protest and if you listen to the interview shown on Saturday, you can here chants of "No more Blasphemy Law" from none other than our diligent Wilson Chowdhry.  Please do listen to the section from 41 - 44 seconds into the recording below:

Friday 6 August 2010

Flood appeal gains momentum and highlights British Pakistani Christians!

Here is an article from our local paper (Ilford Recorder),which highlights the BPCA Flood Appeal to our local community and demonstrates that not only Pakistani Muslims care about Pakistan:

Click to enlarge.

We are calling Pakistani Churches on our list and asking them to contribute any donations to us.  The donations will be sent to the larger Charity organisations, but we will be highlighting specific donations from churches so that a wider audience can see that our churches and community are concerned about Pakistan. 

We have joined South Asian Forum a wing of the Evangelical Alliance and have been asked to talk about the Pakistani Christian Community in the UK, Pakistan and wider global parameters, what action they are taking to help flood victims and will be describing the affects of the recent flood attack on our churches and wider Pakistan - on a number of BBC Radio interviews.

Your local BBC radio station will be broadcasting an interview at the following times on Sunday 8th August 2010:

0720 ESSEX
0740 CAMBS

They are trying to get London, Leicester, Birmingham and Wolverhampton on board.  We will keep you posted. 
Please do give generously as it would be great to collect a substantial sum that really speaks up about how much our community cares.  Any churches that commit to working with us on funding before Sunday will be highlighted in the interviews for which Wilson Chowdhry has been chosen as spokesperson.

Story on our protest in yesteradys Jaang! Click on image to enlarge!

World Minorities Day in Pakistan???!! - We call it Black Day!

Brother taskeen has asked me to promote this event on the 11th August, the BPCA support the event and will be in attendance:

August 11 – Black Day - 2
Peaceful Protest
Pakistan High Commission London

Date: Wednesday August 11, 2010

Time: 2:00pm-5:00pm

Venue: High Commission for Pakistan, 34-36 Lowndes Square, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 9JN

Pakistani Minorities Fight for Equal Rights in Pakistan - An Agitation against the Abrogation of Minorities Rights in Pakistan: In 2008 Government of Pakistan declared that every year “11th of August” will be celebrated as “Minorities Day” at an official level. But both Pakistan-based and worldwide/overseas Pakistani Christian community rejected “Minorities Day” and called it “Black Day”.

Last year “Black Day 1” observed in United Kingdom, USA, Europe, Australia and Pakistan. This year Pakistani Christians will observe “Black Day - 2” on August 11, 2010. Our friends have already announced peaceful protests on the same day in Holland/Canada and the USA will hold an event on the 12th August.

Join us in this fight for equal rights for Pakistani minorities and to pay tribute to the innocent martyrs of Pakistan in the name of religion.

We demand Pakistani government to abolish blasphemy laws. We will keep fighting until Pakistani government acknowledges the sacrifices and services of the Minorities in Nation Building.

Please bring Pakistani flag and wear black arm bands on the day.

For further information Call-SMS For more information please contact Javed Iqbal: 07403072294, Taskeen Khan: 07800738390, Dr. M. R. Chowdhery: 07984201954 and Nabeel Arseen: 07768204354 and/or send an e-mail on

Memorial set for Rashid and Sajjid Emmanuel on 14th August 2010.

Wilson has been invited to speak about our "Flood Appeal" and next yearts protest on the 2nd July 2011 (the anniversary of the arrest of the Faislabad Pastors), at a memorial in Heston on the 14th of August (Pakistani Independance Day) .  The event has been organised by the most favourable Pastor Noble Samuel and he wrote (sic):

"Dear Friends,

Greetings in the precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Please find the enclosed information for the memorial service of Pastor Rashid Emmanuel and his brother Sajid Emmanuel victims of Faisalabad , Pakistan. They were both killed by the fundamentalist muslims outside the court.

I understand may be some of you may not be able to join us but please prayer for them where ever you will be. There is a great need of your spiritual and moral support towards the Pakistani Christians. I really appreciate that you are always showing your love and concern.Hope to see you on 14th August 2010 at 7:00 pm at Heston United Reformed Church, 309 Vicarage Farm Road, Heston TW5 0DR(Neariest tube station is a Hanslow west bus route is H32 . There will be free car parking

For the sake of protest tie up black cloth or ribbon on your shoulder. I believe it is a time of unity and team work for the Glory of God. I will be grateful if you may kindly forward this message to your friends .God bless all of you.


Rev.Noble Samuel
West London United Reformed Asian Christian Church"

View a flyer by clicking on the link below:

Thursday 5 August 2010

Nurse Magdalene case in sure hands.

Suffering and in pain - will justice be done?!!

One of our friends - the Executive Director of CDI/ECLJ in Pakistan is working on Magdalene Ashraf's case. We include a report from his initial work on Nurse Magdalene's case (in blue below). 

It seems that finally a group is working hard to resolve our issues.  I believe the group has a strong conviction to see justice done.  I must add that a few Muslims have asked us why we point out these rape cases as a Minority issue.  From the press release sent by ECLJ it can be seen that the first question asked by the invidious doctor, was whether or not the tortured nurse was Christian.  It was the very fact that she was a Christian that made her more vulnerable to attack by the sexual predator and his cohorts.  I thank ECLJ for their efforts and will be praying for the success.  Please join us in prayer for a successful result from this litigation exercise and for justice to prevail.

"ECLJ Represents Christian Nursing Student in Pakistan who Was Raped, Beaten & Nearly Murdered Because of Her Faith

“Are you Christian?” is the first thing the Muslim doctor enquired before beating, raping, and pushing out the window a Christian nursing student on July 13 in Karachi, Pakistan. The Bishop of Karachi, Sadiq Daniel, asked the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ) in Lahore, Pakistan to provide legal assistance to the victim. The President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, also took serious notice of the incident and asked an ECLJ staff member, Napoleon Qayyam, to go to Karachi with our legal team to investigate the matter and submit a report on the incident.

The incident took place in Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center (JPMC) where 18-year-old Magdalene Ashraf was training to become a nurse. The defendant, Abdul Jabbar Memon, a Muslim doctor, was illegally staying in the medical staff’s residential premises. The JPMC Executive Director, Professor Tasnim Ahsan, told our legal team that Memon often harasses and assaults nurses while intoxicated. She said that several complaints had been sent to the Provincial Health Secretary, but Memon had such strong political connections that the hospital administration was powerless to take any action. The defendant had become influential because he was a medico-legal officer for more than a decade who had developed connections with the police and criminals.

On July 13, Ms. Ashraf left for home when her friend, Sajjad Fatimah, another nursing student and Ms. Ashraf’s classmate, called her and told her that she was standing outside the Doctors’ Mess, which is on the way to Ms. Ashraf’s home, and that they could go home together. When Ms. Ashraf arrived, Fatimah told her that she wanted to see her boyfriend, Dr. Tayyab, on the way. Ms. Ashraf went with Fatima to the Doctors’ Mess. Fatima led her to a room where Memon was already present. Ms. Ashraf testified that Memon locked the door and put the key in his pocket. Memon asked her if she was a Christian. “Yes, I am a Christian,” she replied. Memon slapped her and she fell down. He brutally beat her and tore her clothes. She stood up and tried to escape by jumping through a window, but Memon prevented her from leaving. After raping her, Memon said to her, “Now you better die,” and pushed Ms. Ashraf out of the window from the second floor of the building.

In her statement to the police on July 20, Ms. Ashraf testified that before pushing her out of the window, Memon told her that the police would not be able to do anything because he was very influential. Pointing to the police badge that the officer was wearing at the time of recording her statement, Ms. Ashraf said that Memon’s car also displayed that official seal of the Police Department. She expressed concern about receiving justice in this matter.

After pushing Ms. Ashraf out the second-floor window, Memon tried to make it appear that Ms. Ashraf jumped from the window to commit suicide and that he had tried to save her.

Some children who were playing nearby found Ms. Ashraf on the ground bleeding. They informed the security chief, Akram Janjuwa, and Ms. Ashraf was sent to the emergency room.

The security chief reported the incident to the police. He stated that when he had arrived at the crime scene, several people told him that Doctor Abdul Jabbar Memon had thrown Ms. Ashraf out of the window. The police have yet to locate those witnesses

Ms. Ashraf remained in a coma for three days. She was so severely beaten that when she regained consciousness, she could not open her eyes. On July 20, when she became stable, the police recorded her statement.

The ECLJ legal team in Pakistan is not satisfied with the way the hospital management and the police have handled the situation. The police have delayed their investigation, failed to arrest Memon’s accomplices in the crime, and are still attempting to label this case as an "attempted suicide." To make matters worse, hospital officials wanted to release her and send her home while she was still in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and still in grave danger because of her injuries.

Ms. Ashraf’s sister, Sheila Ashraf, has repeatedly told the media and high ranking officials in the Pakistani Government that the family has been offered 700,000 rupees ($8,800 US) to withdraw the case filed against Memon. Ms. Ashraf’s sister said that the family was also threatened with dire consequences if they pursued the case.

Asif Aqeel, who is the executive director of our office in Pakistan, says that until recently the plight of nurses was never brought to light, but was largely ignored because the nursing profession was considered only for Christian women. Hospitals are places where men and women work together. However, Muslims do not want to send their women to work with men. In the last decade, though, this trend has changed and now Muslim women are also taking part in the nursing profession. Now, this brutal attack on a Christian nurse has generated great concern in a country where that would not have been the case not long ago. Aqeel acknowledged that this is a positive development. After the attack, the JPMC School of Nursing remained closed for five days and hundreds of nurses blocked the road in front of the hospital demanding severe punishment for Memon. The case gained nationwide attention after the nurses boycotted their classes and protested.

Aqeel also said that he was thankful to the president for confidently appointing our legal team and field officer, Napoleon Qayyum, to investigate the matter and send him a report. Qayyum has also demanded security for Ms. Ashraf, which has yet to be provided.

Shehzad Maan, the ECLJ’s attorney in Pakistan who is representing Ms. Ashraf in the case against Memon, said that there have been efforts to weaken the case, but he expressed confidence in the courts and said he expects to get justice for Ms. Ashraf.

We will keep you updated on further developments.

Watch a video on this case - Express 24/7, an English News Channel that broadcasted a news report on the case which included comments by Asif Aqeel, the Executive Director of the ECLJ's Pakistan office.

You can view additional Pakistani television news reports on the case here and here."

President Zirdari is in Birmingham this weekend - Who will join us in protest.

We need you!

Dear all,

President Zirdari will be attending a meeting this weekend and the BPCA would like to arrange a protest at the location of his meeting.  We will need at least 40 supporters of the abrogation of the Blasphemy Law and better protection against persecution for minority faith groups in Pakistan, if we are to make any impact and get the media coverage our issue deserves.   Who will join us......?

The details of his meeting are as follows:

Date:       Saturday 7th August
Time:       13:00
Location: Centenary Square, Birmingham

Don't forget next years major protest is on the 2nd of July.  It is being held on the date of the arrest of Rashid and Sajid Masih - the two pastors who were victims of an unknown gunman and were shot down before Faisalabad Court, after being acquitted of Blasphemy charges.

We believe that similar protest on that day will be held in Pakistan, America and Canada and we will notify all communities once we have confirmation.

Floodwaters ravaged hundreds of villages in the province of Punjab Wednesday, destroying homes, soaking crops, and threatening more lives.

Here is an eye witness account of the deluge in Pakistan received by us today (sic):

"Dear Brother Wilson in Christ,

I am fine. I hope of God that you are will be fine by grace of God

RAHAM YAR KHAN (August 5, 2010) ---- The flash floods have wreaked havoc in different areas of Punjab, (Raham Yar khan Roken pure and Mazafergaurd, Rajan pure) bad has broken down and floodwaters heading towards the city. At least 47 people (included 7 Hindu peoples who accepted Jesus Christ) had been killed in Raham Yar Khan since flooding began in late July. Nearly 1,000 villages have been affected and some 15,000 houses destroyed in the province of Punjab.

Now, Our 200 Church Christian families had to homeless. (Rajan Pure, Mazafergaurd, Raham Yar Khan Rohen pure). They are facing many difficulties. They are left our destroyed houses and shifting to other places, for the life safety.

The Government Pakistan has to give the suggestion to about nearly village that they leave your houses, and go to reach the safety pleases.

Our Church Leader Pastor Kaval Dass (Hindu to Christian converted), he is also affected in this disaster. He requesting to me that, “dear brother” I have needed your help. Because we have no food and cloths for ware, are all thing destroyed. I and my all Church members are waiting your help, that you sent us sources.

I request you to please prayer dead souls, for destroyed Families in Pakistan. Places cooperate with us, for their sources.

In His Grace

Pastor Rafique Bhatti"

Please contribute to our Flood disaster recovery fund details can be found by clicking the link at the top of our blogsite.

Wednesday 4 August 2010

Justice for Nurse Magdalene

Recovering gradually brave Nurse Magdalene may suffer even more ignominy!

I have appalling news it seems that medical and police evidence will not substantiate the rape charges brought by Nurse Magdalene.  News on the ground points to a lack of evidence for rape and many Christians are already declaring a miscarriage of justice.  This story is another blow to the equal rights movement for Pakistan and adds to the list of woes reported by the BPCA.  This information is provided prima facie and we would appreciate any corroborating stories:

The latest link I have found highlights the fact that the evidence was being collated:

The BPCA will be organising an electronic petition  for justice that we intend to hand in to 10 Downing Street and the Pakistan High Commission.
Protesting outside Zardari's Hotel!

The BPCA protested outside Zardari's Hotel yesterday.  We clamoured for a repeal of the Blasphemy Law and then joined the PTI Protesters in objecting to the visit to the UK By zardari at a time when his Country is dire need of leadership.  The fact that this part time President is touring the UK while his country suffers the worst natural disaster to hit them in 100 years, is evidence of his detachment from the people he chooses to serve.

As Christians we believe the country will need a stronger leader one who is closer to his people and who understands their needs.  If not we will never see the abrogation of the Blasphemy Law. 

Wilson was asked for an interview by GEO TV, recognising his weakness in the Urdu language, he asked our Urdu speaking commentators Ruby Akhtar and Gerald Sunny to conduct the interview. 

Do look out for the news clip....

In the meanwhile do read what "THE NEWS"  said about our protest:

Please click on image to enlarge!

Rehmat Masih imprisoned on Blasphemy Charge - why are we not aware of this!

FIR (Click on image to enlarge)

Remand order (click on image to enlarge)

We have received a copy of a First Incident Report (FIR) and Remand Order for Rehmat Masih a 70 year old Christian Man who is being held in a Faisalabad Jail after a purported blasphemy.  It would seem little help is being given to this man and that information of the case brought about him is so far very limited amongst the Christian support agencies.  I have forwarded RELEASE INTERNATIONL, CLAAS and CHRISTIAN SOLIDARITY WORLDWIDE, the email detailing the concern and will report on any progress.  We have removed the first paragraph of the email to protect the sender and advise you that the story is published prima facie:

"Dear Brother Wilson

.............Now the thing is that why I am writing this email to you. I saw your recent protest video and also saw Dr. Peter J. David there. I want to bring another 295/C case in your notice which many people dose not know yet. This was registered on 2nd July. The victim's name is Rehmat Masih and according to his ID he was born in 1940 so he is now 70 years old. He is now in District Jail. I am attaching his FIR which was registered on 2nd July last month. He is sick and was hospitalized but due to that two young boys incident brought back to his cell. To some people I said that those two young people died in the Courts Premises but this old man will die behind the bars. Please this is a prayer request that please pray for him and his family. I do not know that how many people will give their lives because of this law in this country. I have his pictures also but I would request that do not use them for public as these are taken inside very secretly. Please do let me know if you want the pictures I could send you later. I am copying this email to Dr. Peter J. David as well. I appreciate your love and concern for us. In Faisalabad we are feeling fear and insecurity these days. Once again thanks for your efforts."

If anyone can verify the veracity of this post please do so by emailing us.

Tuesday 3 August 2010

Disaster Recovery Fund for Sindh and Punjab Province Flood

Many of you will be aware of the Flood s that have ravaged around the Sindh and Punjab Provinces and have left over 1,000,000 people homeless and destitute and 14,000 people dead.  Flood warnings still persist and panic stricken families can see no foreseeable succour to their plight as they brace themselves for another deluge in what has been termed the worst flood to hit Pakistan in 100 years.  The Indus river is still swollen and with fresh warnings of further flooding the BPCA is calling people to pray for a cessation to the current turmoil. 

The BBC provide a full storyof the needs of the people:

We are asking brothers and sister up and down the country to pray for a speedy restoration of the homes and livelihoods of the affected local people.  We ask for you to pray for calm to be restored to an area that has only recently survived fighting between the Taliban and the Pakistan army and is now faced with one of it's worst ever natural disasters.

The BPCA is raising a fund for the victims of the flooding. It is essential that the Pakistani Christian Community is ostensibly involved in the Restoration programme. By illustrating our commitment to the country we will be able to show the nation of Pakistan that we too care for the land of our forefathers and that Christians and other faiths have to work in cooperation to make Pakistan a place of peace, unity and hope. 

Christ taught us in his parable of the Samaritan that we should care for people of all faiths, all creeds, all colours and other diversities.  The money raised will not be used in any projects that are singularly for the benefit of the Christian community but will be used in generic, inclusive projects.

If you would like to donate to the BPCA Flooding Relief fund you can do so in the following ways:

Cheques should be made payable to the British Pakistani Christian Association and sent to:

57 Green Lane

Alternatively, please pay funds directly into the BPCA account:

Sort Code:             20 67 90 
Account Number:  63468976

Please ask your bankers to put on a reference of Flood/DRF

A full report detailing funds raised and how they are utilised will be regularly published on our blog.

Read more on our Flood Appeal by clicking the link below:

Pakistani Christian Girl - wins first ever National Youth Award for our Community!

Sonia Riaz in centre (no dubatta)

Sonia Riaz was born on June 10, 1984 in Quetta. She got her education in Quetta and has been first division holder in her entire educational career. At present she is student of MBBS, final year in Bolan Medical College Quetta. She is also keen student of Fine Arts, Fond of music and painting. She won many prizes in painting competitions and most important competition was '' Pakistan through its landscapes'' arranged by Arts Council in which out of 27 entries her effort was declared as 2nd best. When she was in school she started to take part tin other extra curriculum activities especially like stage dramas and speech contests.

Her interest with performing art brought her to Radio Pakistan in 2003. She was selected as RJ/DJ/anchor for FM 101 Quetta and in short period of time she became one of the leading anchors of FM. She started quite a few catchy programmes, which are still very popular among the listeners.

Her attractive and versatile way of presentation pleased and delighted the listeners a lot and on the eve of 2nd anniversary of FM in 2004 when listeners were asked to poll their vote in favor of their favorite RJ, the result was not unexpected, Sonia was declared “Best RJ of FM 101” for the year 2004.

She continued to fascinate her listeners and she was again declared Best anchor person of FM 101 consecutively 3 times in 2006, 2007 and in 2008. In 2009 although she was once again declared the Best presenter of FM 101 but she voluntarily stepped downed in favor of the runner up and announced not be considered for any award/prize in future. FM 101 has arranged the competition to chose the Best RJ/DJ on 6 occasions and majority of the listeners have voted in favor of Sonia who has won this title 5 times. During the year 2007 her programme “101 Mega Show” was declared most popular show of FM 101 Quetta. Day to day increased listening, mail and phone calls have placed this programme on the top of all times popular programme of FM 101 Quetta and credit of all this popularity goes to the heard work and meritorious efforts of Sonia Riaz.

At present she is one of the most popular and admired Host of FM 101 Quetta and played a tremendous role in making this channel most demanding FM radio of the town as compare to other FM stations working around and courageous & fantastic contribution of Sonia Riaz is no doubt unmatchable.

She is Creative Writer as well

In 2007 she was declared Women of the Year in the field of Media/Radio and awarded by Star Award by a renowned international organization South Asia Publication and her biographical outline was published in widely acclaimed profile book “Galaxies of Who’s is Who in Pakistan”

When Ministry of Youth Affairs, Govt of Pakistan invited the applications from the youth of the country, who have done praiseworthy work in different fields for the National Youth Award 2009, Sonia Riaz was one of the hundreds aspirant in the field of Media/Radio. The selection committee of Youth Ministry was left with no option other than to select Sonia Riaz as the winner on National Youth Award 2009 in the category of Media/Radio for her marvelous and admirable achievements as RJ/DJ/anchor FM 101 in recent past.

Dr. SONIA RIAZ is the first and only Christian youth who ever got ''National Youth Award '' in history of Pakistan

Images of our protest on the 31st of July!

Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali speaking at 10 Downing Street.

Leading the way the man with the cross!
Looking suave - on important mission!
Thoroughly interesting and rousing words from Bishop Michael.
People of many diversities joined our procession!  All willing to carry their own crosses for those persecuted!

Member of European Parliament Jean Lambert spoke out against injustices in Pakistan.
Green Party MEP Jean Lambert caught everyones attention.
No weight was to heavy to carry for those Christians who came to speak out against the situation in Pakistan.
People watched, listened and showed support for our cause.
Praying on the streets in unison
Collaboratively praying the Lords Prayer "As we forgive those who trespass against us"
Marching for justice
Marching for peace.
Young and old united against persecution
Joined by Christian Social Link at 10 Downing Street.
In the London heat 100 People came out to oppose persecution in Pakistan.
Alan Craig former Christan Peoples Alliance Councillor for Newham who spoke at the Pakistan Embassy was present throughout protest.
Tired and weary but committed to the cause.
"We shall not be moved!"
3 times Christ stumbled whilst carrying the cross, 3 times our procession stopped and knelt remembering those who are persecuted in Pakistan and the persecution Christ suffered for us.

Leaders unite against persecution.
Asian Christians in Solidarity may only be few in number but we tried our best!
On the left Pastor Christopher from St John's Baptist Church, Shoreditch
Though few in number mighty through Jesus!

Saturday's event was spectacular, we had only 100 people in attendance but what a 100 people it was!

Chief guests on the day included (in no particular order):

  • Pastor Jimmy Robinson - Potters House Christian Fellowship, Romford

  • Green MEP Jean Lambert

  • Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali - Former Bishop of Rochester

  • Bishop Michael Reid - What God Can Do Ministries

  • Matthew Jones - Christian Solidarity Worldwide

  • Ranbir Singh - Hindu Human Rights Group

  • Upkar Rai - Sikh Human Rights Group

  • Jasvir Singh - Anti Oppression Group

  • Pastor Kevin Hodges - Potters House, Archway

  • Alan Craig former Christian Peoples Alliance Councillor for Newham

  • Pastor Christopher Nayyir - St John's Church, Shoreditch

  • Nish

  • Dr Mujeeb Chowdhry - Co founder of the Asian Christian Church in the UK

  • Dr Peter David - Gateway TV

  • Romail Gulzaar - Pukaar News

  • Canon Toby Crowe - St James Church, Alperton.

  • Ruby Akhtar - Christian Party

  • David Hews - Christian Party

  • Javaid Iqbal - Christin Social Link

  • Dianne Ofuri - Christian Party
There were many other senior figures and absence from this list is not intentional, just an unfortunate oversight.  Please inform us if you or your group were not included.

We had a number of riveting speakers including most of the above and in addition the worship service to the fore of the Pakistan Embassy was a real treat, many spoke of how they could tangibly feel the presence of God, as the amalgamated Christians sung in good harmony. 

During the march we knelt 3 times as those in the procession spoke the Lords Prayer in unison.  This act was a symbolic recognition of the suffering and persecution Christ faced as he carried the cross and our sins.  Christ himself, stumbled 3 times and we knelt as we used the 3 symbolic kneelings (stumbles), to reflect on the persecuted minorities in Pakistan and the daily suffering they are subjected to as a result of their faith.    

Finally, at 10 Downing Street, Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali a lead spiritual leader for Pakistani Christians and MEP Jean Lambert - one of this country's lead political figures, spoke eloquently, on the need for fair and just Government. 

We submitted Petitions to both 10 Downing Street and to the Pakistan Embassy and we will challenge both for a response to them.