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Saturday, 18 June 2011

More than conquerors!

I am overcome with joy and full of glee and cannot express with clarity just how ecstatic I feel.  The support that has been offered to me and the BPCA by leading religious and political figures of different religious persuasions has galvanised my heart to do more for minorities in Pakistan.  Today in particular I have finally completed the line up for our 10 Downing Street petition delegation the six candidates now includes:

  • Bishop Dr Michael Nazir-Ali - Emeritus Bishop of Rochester)
  • Neville St L Kyrke-Smith - Aid to the Church in Need
  • Imam Taj Hargey - Muslim Education Centre Oxford 
  • Dr Martin Stern - Nazi Holocaust Survivor and former Peshawar University Medical student
  • Alan Craig Christian Peoples Alliance
  • Alex Chowdhry - Former Chairman of the BPCA

Today I also received very positive news from another large anti- persecution charity who confirmed that their South Asia Coordinator will be attending.  (Article amended to protect names)

Since the BPCA was formed we have had an uphill struggle trying to bolster support from our community of Pakistani Christians in the UK.  As newbies to the arena we have been overlooked as just another group who wants to make a name for themselves, or another association doomed to failure.

Our passion to see change has meant we have persevered through a number of betrayals.  Groups and leaders who said they would join us, failed to attend our meetings and protests and a whole manner of denigrating words have been spoken outwardly and in a more clandestine fashion, all said with a specific intent to derail or undermine the work we have committed ourselves to complete.

I have had to forgive many brothers and sisters on the way and I can tell you honestly, that sometimes it has taken some real soul searching to do so. Not because of the personal slight - I am tough enough to take it on the chin.  No my pain is for the innocent victims of Pakistan as they continue to suffer, while some of our community casually reject a political campaign that simply needs the effort of every single member within our tiny diaspora.  Our community presence in the UK includes only 8174 individuals, illustrating the need for unity.  If we are to be a voice for voiceless Pakistani Christians then we all have to be involved in as many of the campaigns as possible.  Irrespective of the failed arrivals at our events we have managed to attend the majority of Pakistani Christian events in the UK - even when not invited.

It seems that a stronger camaraderie is precipitating within the majority of UK brethren and that a much wider Christian unity on the matter if international persecution is surfacing.  This is an encouraging direction for our communities to take and I hope that we can play a small part in magnifying this emerging if not nascent collaborative spirit.

The parable of the "Good Samaritan" is one that describes a man who was attacked and left to die.  Verse 31 describes the attitude of  a holy man or priest of the time:

"And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

I am not targeting any minister or church,  however I am certain despite assurances of support and presence our protest on the 2nd July will have a number of our community missing.  This event has been promoted several times since  May last year.  I have handed our flyers in churches personally at the vast memorials and seminars our community have organised - every time public assurances have been made of support and attendance.  I trust God that those that made such commitments will see it through.  

The inspirational concept in the parable of the Good Samaritan is the desire of a man outside the victims tribal and cultural heritage.  A man that would have probably been rejected by the victim if found in the same situation.  Unsurprisingly the BPCA has found significant support from the wider church and this year is no exception.  Such support signifies the strength in opposition to the controversial blasphemy laws of Pakistan, by a Christian community increasingly aware of it's oppressive nature on minorities.  Moreover our support from wider faith groups indicates that this Samaritanial spirit is not just the preserve of Christians, but one that surpasses all diversities.  To put it simply good hearted people are offended by the continual disregard for life that has been exhibited by the elite in Pakistan.  Dr Martin Stern despite having survived the Nazi Holocaust many moons ago, will be walking the entirety of the protest!  How inspiring is that....

I am encouraged by the Nelson fellowship who will be travelling in coaches to support our London protest form the far north of England.  Brother David Dean and Kenneth Massey have been steadfast and sure in their love for the persecuted Christians of Pakistan and the support for the various missions working on their behalf.  

I am proud to be joined by our first Indian Pastor Hari Kaul from Wolverhampton, this signifies greater unity amongst Pakistani and Indian Christians. That he and others are travelling from so far is a testament to us all and should stir something within us to stand up and be counted.

I give special praise to Sheem Gill our brother in Glasgow.  He has been galvanising support from Scotland and has organised participation from Christian's from the more extreme north of the United Kingdom.

From London we are assured company with Rev Amelia Jacob formerly of St James Alperton, Rev John Bosco - Christian Social Link and Rev Gill David -currently with St Paul's Hounslow.

These and others will join the clamour for justice and freedom.  Times like this reminds me of the well known and popular Christian song "Oh when the saints go marching in" I definitely want to be in that number!  do you...?

Just view the massive guest list that includes some of the key players fighting for justice for persecuted Christians in Pakistan:

It's the stuff of Godly dreams!

On leaving I want to challenge the hearts that are still have not decided to join our 2nd July protest.  The title of this post is significant and is a replication of the title of the passage representing Romans 8 v 31 - 32.  Why not pray and then read this important scriptural text then work out for yourself what I am getting at...
More Than Conquerors

 31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

   “For your sake we face death all day long; 

   we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[j]

 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


  1. What are you doing on the 2nd July? This is truly inspiring that Dr. Martin will be walking the protest march. How comfortable we can get? I wonder sometimes how comfortable our brothers and sisters are in jail in Pakistan. When we choose not to walk the walk. I hope our Asian Christian community will be part of the change?

  2. Wilson post the e-mails of those who have promised support and we can all e-mail them and thank them for their courage and care - this should help them keep their promise!!! - Blessings - Rene

  3. Hi Mrs O'Riordian, If I did that I would be naming and shaming. Moreover, the data protection act prevents such action. Prayer is our most powerful tool please pray for a spirit of collaboration to enter our community.

  4. Lets all Stand together to raise our voices for the state of affairs prevalent against us Christians in our own country. God willing I would be there to support your cause.