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Tuesday 26 October 2010

Flood Appeal Events in Corbridge and Sunderland

Dear all a Brother Nathaniel from has sent details of a fundraiser he is organising.  80% of the funds will go to the BPCA Flood Appeal fund and 20% to The Barnabus Trust Appeal.  Please do support this brother is his venture if you can make it to the North East of England.  Wilson Chowdhry will be present at both events.

Time: November 5, 2010 from 8pm to 9:45pm
Location: Corbridge Parish Church
Street: Market Place
City/Town: Corbridge
Website or Map: (click here)
Event Type: charity, concert
Organized By: Nathanael Lewis

Event Description:

A charity concert to raise money for Christian flood victims of Pakistan, many of whom are being denied aid because of their faith. For an example of this, see this article from the British Pakistani Christian Association
The concert will be local singers and singer-writers, interspersed with easy listening / classical piano interludes.

Ticket costs are kept down to £5 so that as many people can come as possible, but there will be opportunity to donate further. Tickets will be sold at the door on a first come, first serve.

Learn more on the UK.Christians website by clicking the following link:

The second event will be held on the 6th November details as follows:

Time: November 6, 2010 from 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: By Mowbray Park and Sunderland Civic Centre
Street: Beth Shan - Park Road Campus
City/Town: Sunderland
Website or Map: (Click Here)
Event Type: charity, concert
Organized By: Nathanael Lewis

Read more by clicking the following link:

Monday 25 October 2010

Anti- Abortion protest on the 27th October 2010

Please view teh poster above regarding an anti abortion protest in London.  This has been organised by Christian Concern.

Friday 22 October 2010

RIP Samuel Kaiser

We have received a bereavement notice from the family of Samuel Kaiser, who formerly resided in Nelson Road, Sheffield.

Samuel Kaiser arrived from Sialkot Pakistan to the United Kingdom in February 1979.  From his arrival, he instantly got himself involved in Christ's mission. Samuel Qaiser was a well known and renowned lay preacher and a local community stalwart.  He was known in Pakistani Christian Community for the establishment of the Huddersfield Asian Christian Convention.

For many years the Datic Trust funded Brother Samuel to provide counselling service, translation and support to new immigrants in Sheffield.  He was a prominent figure with this group in an outreach ministry to Asians of other faiths. He also pioneered the first ever Urdu speaking church in Huddersfield and the surrounding counties in tandem with founding their convention.

Mr Samuel Qaiser also had a very active local Christian Ministry in Sheffield,which involved invitation to preach in the majority of Sheffield churches.

He leaves behind a wife -Blossom Qaiser and five daughters, Azica, Afica, Mispah, Tabitha, Sheba, all of them are commited and devoted christians.

The Family have provided funeral details for the service that will take place tomorrow:

Date: Saturday 23rd October 2010.
Funeral Service - 10:45
St Andrews Church Psalter Lane
31 Psalter Lane
S11 8YL

Resting Place - 12:00
Abbey Lane Cemetery
Abbey Lane
S8 0BQ

Refreshments - 1:00
Ecclesall Parish Hall
Ringinglow Road
South Yorkshire
S11 7PP

If you are friends or family of Samuel Kaiser you are welcome to come and attend the funeral and share your tender memories of Mr. Samuel Kaiser.

Thursday 21 October 2010

Wilson receives "Human Rights" Award from British Sikh Council!

Wilson with Upkar Rai the Communications Officer for the British Sikh Council and Vice President of Seven Kings Gurdwara.

Cllr Balvinder Saund awarded as Pride of British Sikhs.

MP Mike Gapes awarded.

Wilson spoke on the similarities of the Sikh and Christian faiths in their pursuance of peace and challenging of oppression.  His wife Juliet translated for the Panjabi speaking visitors.

Our Vice Chairman Wilson Chowdhry has long stood with other minority groups in campaigning for equality and human rights, both here in the UK and abroad.  A particularly close link exists between Pakistani Christians and Pakistani Sikhs, as a consequence of their minority status and  frequent persecution and incidents of inequality.  During the 1989 and 2004 attack on Nankana sahib Christians stood shoulder to shoulder with their Sikh counterparts in demanding justice and protection from the Pakistan Government.  In the same manner the Sikhs have also spoken out and assisted when attacks happen to Christian Communities. 

Here in the UK Sikhs and Christians of India and Pakistan can often be seen working together and Sikh speakers are synonymous to any public protest arranged by Pakistani Christians concerning persecution in Pakistan. 

Wilson has been working with the Sikh community for over 6 years and joined them in a Candlelight vigil in Ilford Town Centre during 2004.  The event featured in a number of media, as it was the first of their global 1984 Masscare Peace Vigils to hold a collaboration with other faiths.

Wilson was also responsible for the alteration of a Passport Office discriminatory practice that involved the refusal  of entry to their offices when applying for a 24 hour passport - to Sikhs wearing their Kirpaan (ceremonial knife).  Wilson eventually had this practice changed after evidencing that there had been no incident when a Kirpaan had been used inappropriately in the UK.  The Passport Office agreed to undertake a new risk assessment and created a scheme whereby Sikhs with a Kirpaan can now apply for and collect a 24 hour passport from the Collections department on request. This practice was adopted in 2006.

Wilson has also spoken at the memorial service of Sukhwinder Singh stabbed to death in Ilford, when protecting a woman from being mugged.  He has also worked with them on mutual campaigns for justice and the abrogation of the Blasphemy Law in Pakistan.

Wilson said:

"It was  great privilege to be nominated for this award.  I do what I do as there is a solid purpose and need and simply it is what God ask's from all of us.  Being recognised by the Sikh community for my work is particularly nice as I have so often enjoyed working with them.  Events like the one held by the British Sikh Community deserve recognition for the impact they have on community cohesion"

Here is what the British Sikh Council said:

British Sikh Council UK
Sikhs Celebrates establishment Tri-centenary of First Sikh Kingdom

British Sikh Council UK (BSC) invited other communities to attend its Annual Sikh Conference on Sunday, 17 October, 2010 held at Gurdwara Singh Sabha London East, Barking to mark the Tri-Centenary of the establishment of first Sikh Kingdom (Fateh Divas) and Sikh Human Rights.

This auspicious event in Sikh history marks the victory over the tyranny inflicted by Mogul Rulers and the establishment of the first Sikh Raj in Punjab (India) by the first Sikh Army General, Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, appointed by the 10th and last living Guru Guru Gobind Singh Ji.

This conference was well attracted by a large number of leaders of Sikh organisation, and other communities. It was also attended by honourable Mr Mike Gapes MP Ilford,  Balvinder Kaur Saund. Councillor,Deputy Leader Redbridge Council, Ilford, Chair Person Womens Association, Baldish Kaur Nijjar Councillor Redbridge Council,
##Honoured by BSC as Pride of the British Sikhs.

Palbinder Singh Chairman
Metropolitan Police Sikh Association. Honoured by BSC as Pride of the British Sikhs

Manjit Singh Buttar J P : First Sikh Centurion Manager London Underground, Co-ordinator Trafalgar Square Visakhi Celebration, London, Campaigner of Sikh Human Rights and Founder Sikh Association  of London Underground.
 ##Honoured by BSC as Pride of the British Sikhs

Bachiter Singh Saggi: Manager London Underground, President and Founder; Sikh Association of London Underground

Surinder Singh Jandu General Secretary. Ramgarhia Sikh Council UK.
##Honoured by BSC as Pride of the British Sikhs
(For contributions towards Sikh Community)

Gagandeep Singh: Sikh Chaplain London, ##Honoured by BSC as Pride of the British Sikhs for commendable contributions towards Sikh Community)

Lakhwinder Singh Athwal, Gursikh youth; started age 5 Wado Ryu Karate, started Mugendo Kick Boxing at 9, Black belt age 12 in WRK, British  Kickboxing Champion 2006 and 2010 and representing UK at international Level.

##Honoured by BSC as Pride of the British Sikhs

Rajan Singh Rai: a very young boy winners of 28 , 9 Silvers and 18 Bronze Medals under10, under 15,in Paris and now under 17various champions in Fencing Cadet Team
##Honoured by BSC as Pride of the British Sikhs

Anmol Singh Rattan: Gursikh Boy, Winner British Fencing Cadet Team Medals and now representing Britain in Fencing at international level
##Honoured by BSC as Pride of the British Sikhs

 Human Rights Issues
 Sikhs living in European countries are facing a number of challenges due to European laws encroaching on entrenched and fundamental rights hitherto practiced by Sikhs. Matters causing debate include Sikhs being asked to provide photographs for their ID cards without their sacrosanct turbans. In addition, airport authorities have introduced daily turban searches for staff and travelling passengers at airports.

Sikhs suffered extensively during October-November 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi and in other parts of India and still seeking justice to this day.

Mr Wilson Chowdhary: President Pakistani Christian Association UK also attended this conference.

Pakistani Christian Community Association UK has been working in harmony with the British Sikh Council UK (PR Sectretary Upkar Singh Rai - Ilford Resident) in raising awareness of human rights violations and campaigning for the protection and restoration of minority rights.

 ##Honoured by BSC as Champion of Human Rights.
For his active participation, co-operation and support for BSC’s fight for Justice for Sikhs in Britain and Pakistan in the event of beheading Sikhs by Talibans and the release of other captives in the days , Murder of Gursikh Sukhwinder Singh who tried to defend a lady from a mugger in Ilford.

Monday 18 October 2010

New Human Rights Department initiated in Pakistan

Wilson questions the Minister for Human Rights (enjoying cup of tea) on the need for displaying the holders faith in Pakistani Passports.

Wilson and the new Minister for Human Rights discuss the potential for abuse of the existing Blaphemy Law of Pakistan.

After the meeting the two of us exchanged details and I honestly feel this is a step in the right direction.

The Federal Minister for Human Rights in Pakistan Syed Mumtaz Alam Gillani answered questions on his recent deployment within the newly created "Ministry of Human Rights".  Although initially excepted to parley at the event, when my turn to pose questions to this new figurehead within Pakistani Politics arrived, his daughter questioned the need for more questions, in what had been a rather difficult and tiresome venture. 

This caused me great consternation and was rather discombobulating, especially when you consider only 2 questions had been relayed to Minister Gillani.  Feeling rather perturbed, I demanded an opportunity to sound my question as I had waited patiently, for in excess of 10 minutes whilst a response to the previous question was met with the usual meandering political chicanery. 

The attempt to subvert my question could have been political manoeuvrings or just honest fatigue, however it left me feeling rather slighted.

I should have known better, as when I did get a chance to refer to the continuing abuse of the Blasphemy Law and it's possible extension to incorporate protection to all faiths - I received no response of worthy note. 

I talked of ongoing inequality, the prejudicial demarcation of ones faith in Pakistani Passports and the recent statements by Bishops in Pakistan that Christians and other minorities were being ignored when approaching Muslim agencies for aid.  Sounds of derision filled the air in a hall with few Christians present. However, I still believe that to have a Ministry of Human Rights is a small step forward for a country known for it's breaches of the historic conventions first stated by the UN in 1948.

Minister Gillani and I had a hug at the end of the meeting and this does not mean much to many.  But I have come across less charismatic and warm characters during my work with the BPCA.  Moreover, as much as no solid answers came of my questions, you cannot help but feel, that something is changing in Pakistan.  The Blasphemy Law is to be reformed and a consultation process has started and now we have a Minister for Human Rights. 

Small steps I know, but is that not where progress begins...

The meeting was organised by the The Christian Muslim Forum, the International Imam Hussain Council and Al-Khoei Foundation and was held on the 14th October 2010. 

Sunday 17 October 2010

Justice for Shazia Bashir may still arrive!

Victim Shazia Bashir

Shahbaz Bhatti provides cheque to Nasreen Bibi

Minister for Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti Provides Financial Assistance Victim Shazia’s Mother

Federal Minister for Minorities and Chairman All Pakistan Minority Alliance Mr Shahbaz Bhatti handed over a cheque of Rs. 500,000 approximately $ ( US5882) to Nasreen Bibi, mother of the late Shazia, a domestic worker who was tortured and murdered in Lahore on 22nd January 2010.

Shazia Masih a twelve year-old Christian domestic worker, was barbarically tortured by her employers, Naeem Chaudhry, a Lawyer and his family; she consequently succumbed to the violence she was subjected to.

Shazia belonged to an extremely poor Christian family and was working to procure a livelihood for her family; the girl's parents have said that for days they were forbidden to meet their daughter. After asking several times, they finally found her in serious a condition, with obvious signs of violence and torture. They then took her to the hospital where she succumbed to her injuries.

According to the autopsy report, sixteen injuries including incision wounds, thirteen of which were inflicted by a rusted weapon and the rest by a sharp edged weapon, it also confirmed that the child had been physically tortured for a long period of time.

The culprit pressurized the police not to register the case and furthermore he tried to buy the family’s silence.

However taking strict notice of the case the Federal Minister for Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti reached the site of the incident and not only got the case registered but also ensured the arrest of the culprit.

Mr Shahbaz Bhatti was also present at the Mayo hospital Lahore where the child’s autopsy was conducted. Federal Minister for Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti visited the bereaved family and extended necessary support .

He also emphasized that Shazia was not only the daughter of a Christian, but a daughter of Pakistan and her murderers will be brought to justice.

The case is currently in the district & session court and the accused is on bail.

Situation of the victim’s family:

Shazia was the daughter of an extremely poor family, who are living below the poverty line, with dreadfully meager resources in a rented house.

Due to their severe lack of finances they were not only being unable to pay the lawyer’s fee, but nor were they being able to pay the rent of their house.

Therefore after analyzing their severe economic situation Mr Shahbaz Bhatti felt the need to provide financial assistance to the family, hence in order to enable them to pay the lawyers fee, bear the legal costs to pursue justice and meet the basic needs of the family, a cheque of Rs. 500,000/- was presented to Shazia’s mother in Islamabad on 13 October,2010

While handing over the cheque the Federal Minister expressed complete solidarity with the victim’s family and stated that the government was committed to bring all the culprits of this heinous crime to justice, he said that the people involved in severe human rights violations including abduction, torture and assassination were not human beings and the government would take strict action against them.

Mr Shahbaz Bhatti said child labor is illegal and against the moral values of the society and elements patronizing child labor should be exposed.

The distressed family expressed gratitude to the Federal Minister for his magnanimous gesture and applauded his efforts in understanding the sufferings and pain of minorities in Pakistan.

Prayer Request:

Kindly prayer for the victim's family as they continue their struggle for justice, and also remember the Federal Minister for Minorities Mr Shahbaz Bhatti in your special prayers so that he can continue to reach out to the people in need and stand by the suffering humanity.

Advocacy Cell
All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA)

Wednesday 13 October 2010

Evening of Music - Pakistan Flood Relief

Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf Human Rights UK and Ley Street Centre are holding an evening of music to
Support flood victims in Pakistan.  Detail provide for the evnet are as follows:

All welcome!

£10 per adult, children under 16 go free

Refreshments provided

100 % of money raised will go to flood victims

Date: Sat 16th of October
Time: 7:30 p.m.


Ley Street Centre
367 Ley Street

This event is a collaboration between Mulsims and Christians and funds raised will be split two ways between the two groups.

Monday 11 October 2010

Not Ashamed to be Christian!

Peter Norris (CCFON) Andrea Minichiello Williams (CCFON) Alex Chowdhry and Wilson Chowdhry boldly proclaiming their Christain Faith.

Christian Concern for our Nation is leading a major new campaign to help Christians in UK stand up and speak up for Jesus Christ in public life.

Wednesday 1st December 2010 has been designated ‘Not Ashamed’ day. In readiness, Christians are being asked to ‘wear the symbol, declare the hope and share the vision’.

It is hoped that on ‘Not Ashamed’ day, thousands of Christians will wear the ‘Not Ashamed’ symbol of the cross, available on a range of items from a special online shop whilst a ‘Declaration of Christian Hope for our Nation’ will be delivered to leading figures in public life.

Linked to the campaign, Lord Carey, former Archbishop of Canterbury, is writing a special leaflet explaining why Christians are ‘Not Ashamed’ of Jesus Christ and presenting Him as the hope for our nation.

Further details are available at the ‘Not Ashamed’ website:

In launching the campaign, Andrea Minichiello Williams, Director of Christian Concern, said:

“Our society has undergone massive change in recent years and continues to face enormous challenges. At times the Church seems to have lost confidence that Jesus Christ is good news not just for individuals but also for our society as a whole. Now is the time for Christians to stand together and to speak clearly of Him to a nation that desperately needs to hear of Him, declaring Him to be the only true hope. The ‘Not Ashamed’ campaign is intended to help the Church to do that. We hope and pray that it will find great support amongst the Christian community and make a great impact for good on our country. We invite Christians everywhere to join us.”

Alex and Wilson Chowdhry from the British Pakistani Christian Association were invited to join the campaign by the Director Andrea Minichello Williams.  Whilst in a meeting with the Director of CCFON the BPCA discussed matters pertaining to the persecution of Pakistani Christians in the Homeland.  CCFON have agreed to assist in promoting the concerns highlighted by the BPCA through their media network to push for a change in the culture and politics of Pakistan, to promote a more peaceful and inclusive ideology that will benefit people of all faiths.

The BPCA is supporting the CCFON "Not Ashamed" campaign and on the 1st of December we will be donning Tshirts, bands and badges declaring our Christianity to all and sundry.  Moreover, the enigmatic emblem is bound to stir up some inquisitiveness on the part of non-believers unaware of the symbolism behind the logo, permitting an opportunity for testimony and witness. 

Wilson said:

"The not ashamed scheme is a positive way to increase the opportunity of outreach with little effort.  I am already wearing my badge and several people have asked for the meaning behind the imagery.  This has allowed me an opportunity to engage with them on faith matters in opportunities that would not usually be available.  It has also resulted in several Christians engaging in fellowship on public transport that might not otherwise have shared their faith convictions with me.  This scheme is of a similar vein to the very successful "What Would Jesus Do" campaign, that had great affect.  I commend CCFON on their excellent work and will pray for success with their campaign"

The BPCA encourages young and old Pakistani Christians across the UK to be involved with this project. We believe the project is one that supports the advancement of Christ's Kingdom and will serve great purpose at a time when our Christian Faith is much maligned and marginalised in Britain.  Moreover, I would also ask our brothers in other western countries and abroad in Pakistan to commit to this adventurous concept.

Tuesday 5 October 2010

Diplomat's wife smuggled Jews out of Karachi!

The synagogue in Karachi, Pakistan
A friend of mine that has often encouraged the work of the BPCA and put us in touch with the larger Jewish organisations in the UK, has written some very interesting and stimulating histories and current affair stories, of the Jewish heritage of Pakistan.  She has allowed me permission to copy one of her recent stories for the wider Pakistani Christain Community.  Her "Point of no return" blogsite is an enthralling read, so do take time to peruse through it for yourselves:

The amazing story of a Jewish woman who smuggled Jews of out Pakistan in the 1970s has just began to emerge, this blog can reveal (Point of No Return exclusive!):

The Jewish wife of the Australian Consul-General posted to Pakistan helped smuggle out members of the tiny Jewish community in the 1970s.

Leaving a comment on Point of No Return a Pakistani Jewish man recalled that his widowed sister and niece were smuggled out in the trunk of a car belonging to the Australian diplomat's wife following the Indo-Pakistani war. The border was then closed to all except diplomats.

"My sister told me how she had the centre rear armrest taken out and had a vacuum cleaner hose fitted from the air-conditioning unit to the trunk. We don't think that her husband knew what she did. We believe she may have smuggled other Jews in the same way," the Pakistani Jew writes. The sister and niece now live in New York.

The Jew says that he left Pakistan this year. "For decades we masqueraded as Muslims," he writes.

According to her son, the Australian diplomat's wife provided the small Karachi community - numbering perhaps 1 - 200 Jews - with their needs, including Kosher wine and grape juice. When her husband was not with her she would travel to the synagogue in the diplomatic Mercedes-Benz with the licence plates covered and no Australian flag flying on the bonnet.

She got in touch with the Jews of Karachi via the Chief of Police, a Christian. "Within a week, he came back with addresses," her son remembers. None of the Urdu-speaking community were well-off.

Although other Jews were rarely present, her son recalls attending formal diplomatic dinners on Friday nights wearing a kippa. "Nobody took any notice of it," he told Point of No Return.

Forty years on his mother, now an elderly widow, still insists on anonymity and secrecy about her activities.

" She asked us never to contact her or speak of how we got out in case her husband lost his employment. But this is now 40 years ago and he will have long retired," the Pakistani Jew writes.

The diplomat's wife brought home to Australia for safekeeping the Teba and Ark from the synagogue in Karachi. She also rescued a Torah and candlesticks from a synagogue on the borders of Afghanistan, and bought a beautiful lapis lazuli inlaid Menorah in the bazaar of a village in the tribal area at the base of the Khyber Pass road.

It is not known how many Jews still live in Pakistan, but it is thought that several high-profile business people claiming to be Parsees or Muslims are in fact Jews. One contacted Point of No Return, saying his (or her) family living in the UAE masqueraded as Parsee. "We are terrified here and in Pakistan to say we are Jewish," he (or she) wrote.

In the days of the British empire, the Jewish community in what is now Pakistan numbered several thousand. All but a few have fled for Israel and the West.

Please click the link below to Lyn's blogsite below for more info on Jews in Pakistan:

Monday 4 October 2010

Open Doors - Confirm Aid discrimination for Pakistani Christians!

In a land of black chicks the golden one is ugly!

Here is a story that was emailed to me by Agnes Massey in Canada:


Pakistan: some Christians denied aid unless they convert to Islam
September 06, 2010
The head of an organization that combats anti-Christian persecution charges that some Pakistani Christian families are being denied flood aid unless they convert to Islam.

“Some Christian refugees are openly denied aid, while others are told to leave or convert to Islam,” said Carl Moeller, president and CEO of Open Doors USA. “You can imagine that terrible choice: either you abandon your faith or you cannot feed your child.”

The Fides news agency has collected testimony from several Christians who have been denied aid: “We were overcome by waters and we lost everything,” said Zubair Masih. “We went to a refugee camp near Thatta, but they did not allow us to enter because we are Christians.” “My wife is sick, but the doctor refused to visit her and treat her, saying that we should wait for the World Health Organization to send Christian doctors,” said Abid Masih. “I arrived with my family at a camp near Hyderabad, but the camp administration refused to register us because we are Christians and they did not give us anything,” said Aamir Gill. “We were forced to leave.”

A Pakistani bishop said that the Church, in contrast, does not discriminate in assisting the victims of the worst flooding in the nation’s history.

“The tireless work of Caritas continues in all directions, in every diocese and without discrimination on the recipients,” said Bishop Max John Rodrigues of Hyderabad. “In the diocese, we help everyone. Many religious and Catholic volunteers are working in the area. I see a lot of solidarity: Muslims, Christians, and Hindus are united in suffering.

“As far as the aid brought by Islamic charity groups, they defend themselves by saying that according to their doctrine, the money from the zakhat (Islamic alms) should go only to Muslims,” he added. “We should keep in mind that in this country there is a general discrimination against minorities and the poorest workers. It is a widespread mentality which can also affect this tragedy. The fact that the rich are better off than the poor, having saved their own land, is a serious matter which the government must address.”