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Sunday 25 November 2012

Christian Girl Gang Raped and then murdered!

Shamim Maish sent us this update via LEAD:

Lahore: November 25, 2012. (LEAD) A Christian minor girl from Sahiwal, a city in Punjab, Pakistan, was murdered in the month of August 2012 after being "gang raped" by a group of five Muslim men.

Her father Rafique Masih told Chief of LEAD and President PCC Lahore that he was satisfied with the role of police officials and hopeful for justice from Pakistani courts.

He also shared that he was under heavy debt which he had taken from the owner of brick kiln. He is receiving death threats and warning to take back his complaint against the culprits.

He said thanks for legal support which is providing him through Advocate Javed Sohotra on behalf of LEAD in this case.

He also said thanks for a little bit financial support which LEAD has provided to his family, he also requested to support in paying the debt back to brick kiln owner who is demanding work against the debt money and making him compelled to work on his brick kiln factory.

He also shared that he and his wife and children were feeling insecure after this tragic incident happened with his family.

LEAD needed partners so that LEAD can expand its aid efforts in whole Pakistan.

LEAD is working against the social, Constitutional and religious discrimination of Christians and other Religious Minorities in Pakistan. Blasphemy laws, forced conversion, rape and abduction are at a very high level in Pakistani society. We provide legal assistance and support and safe houses for the victims of religious persecution in Pakistan.

Tuesday 20 November 2012


On 30th November 2012 London Electro-pop band ooberfuse, featuring Wizard MC, will be in Toronto, Canada to add their voices to the growing outcry at the treatment of Pakistan's minority groups, including Christians. They will headline the event, The James 2-8 Benefit, organized by Love Thy Neighbor International is hosted by Candaian tv personality Michael Coran.

With Wizard MC, the President of the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA), the band will perform 3 songs, including Blood Cries Out (in memory of assassinated Minister of Minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti) and Free Asia Bibi (a song protesting the wrongful imprisonment-until-execution of Christian mother of five Asia Bibi) in front of an illustrious gathering of Canadian dignitaries and politicians. The aim of the event is to make audible the otherwise silenced voices of Pakistan's persecuted minorities and to raise funds for development projects in Pakistan.
Cherrie front-woman for the band says : "it is a great honour and a grave responsibility to enkindle in the hearts of the movers and shakers of Canadian society anxious concern for the plight of non-Muslim groups in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Music has the unique power to arouse deep feelings of solidarity, in this case with those suffering groups in Pakistan. Canada leads the way among other nations in terms of deploying its constitutional powers if not to topple a deeply intolerant regime in Pakistan then at least to provide sanctuary to those fleeing violence and aggressive persecution. I think this has something to do with the exemplary way Canada has treated its own marginalised groups like the indigenous First Nation peoples."

Wilson says : "while the affluent societies of the Western world go about their daily business blissfully unaware for the most part of the plight of their fellow human beings around the world, Christians and other minority groups are being violently persecuted in countries like Pakistan. The trip to Canada is a unique opportunity to build bridges with fellow Pakistani's who have fled persecution so that united with them, we can together sound a wake-up call to the powerful nations of the world  to eradicate once and for all the disease of religious persecution that infects so many societies to their shame and detriment.'     
Nico adds : "it is a great honour for us not just to perform our songs before Canadian dignitaries, but to hold hands with Shahbaz's surviving family many of whom have found a safe refuge in Canada. Shahbaz's bother and his niece will be present at the event."

Hal from ooberfuse adds : "Wilson from the BPCA invited us earlier this year in March to write some music to commemorate the first anniversary of the brutal assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti. As we opened ourselves to the full horror of Shahbaz's story, trying all the time to reconcile the natural feelings of outrage at cold-blooded murder with the Christian exhortation to love our enemies, the song Blood Cries Out emerged. Following our debut performance of the song at a peace rally in Trafalgar Square Wilson invited us to reflect on the plight of Christian mother of five Asia Bibi, unlawfully condemned to death-by-hanging under Pakistan's blasphemy law. After translating her autobiography into English to better understand the emotional turmoil faced by Asia the song Free Asia Bibi, protesting her imprisonment and appealing for her release, was born."

Rimsha Masih's original FIR is quashed!

14 year old Rimsha taken to safety after release on bail September 8th 2012

Shamim Maish who attended todays hearing in Islamabad Court shared good news of the dismissal of Rimsha Masih's original FIR.  In an email sent at 6am he said;

Islamabad High Court (IHC) dismissed FIR against Rimsha

Islamabad Pakistan (Shamim Masih): The Islamabad High Court (IHC) announced its verdict today on 20th November, 2012 and dismissed the First Investigation Report (FIR) filed against 14 years Rimsha, a Christian girl, accused of committing blasphemy.

According to Rimsha’s lawyer Abdul Hameed Rana, the verdict was announced on an application filed by him seeking quashment of the FIR against Rimsha.
Earlier on November 14, the honorable chief justice IHC, Mr. Iqbal Hameed-ur-Rehman had reserved the judgment and announced it today.

Rimsha, 14 a Christian girl was arrested from the slum settlement of Islamabad on August 16 this year, when her neighbor Malik Hammad, accused her of burning pages of Quran verses. She spent three weeks in the jail and was released on bail on 8 September and flown to unknown place with her family. 

Rimsha Masih has escaped prosecution under Pakistan's draconian religious laws, which have been subject to widespread abuse and false accusations.  However many others still languish in jail including Asia Bibi and Younas Masih.  The fact remains that it took over 3 months to find this juvenile victim innocent and trial was dragged through adult courts.  

Villagers from her poor neighbourhood on the outskirts of Islamabad are still being subjected to abuse and threats, many have lost their employment after being away from work while fleeing persecution.  Now they may be facing a cold winter without the means to support their families.  What justice will they receive from authorities that have failed to come to their aid, thus far?

The public outcry to Rimsha's arrest was heightened by the fact that she was a teenager and clains that she suffered from Downs Syndrome or a mental illness. 

Senior Islamic clerics opposed her trial publicly and in a bizarre turn of events three senior figures from the local mosque accused their Imam of tampering with evidence (inserting torn shreds of the Koran to burnt Quranic text books said to be found with Rimsha) to frame the young victim - they later retracted their statements to the dismay of campaigners for Rimsha.  

Police reports following the initial First Incident Report (FIR) supported Rimsha's acquittal, in which they stated Rimsha was neither at the incident location at the right time and that she was not mentally capable of the crime, they adamantly stated their was no evidence of a crime.

Police had made the original arrest allegedly for her protection after concern for her safety was raised when the majority Muslim community of  the Mehrabadi district began protesting against her and blocked one of the main roads to the capital.

Fears for the safety of Rimsha Masih persist and the BPCA is calling for asylum for her family in a country with more progressive culture and legal systems.  

Wilson Chowdhry said;

"Although this is a landmark case which sets a precedent for future blasphemy trials, this judgement will not be a huge catalyst for change.  The volatility and instability within Pakistani society does not allow for the abrogation of the blasphemy laws, which are being used as a tool for minority discrimination and persecution.  These laws are still strongly supported by the Muslim majority and need to be reformed gradually.  High profile victims such as Asia Bibi and Younis Masih are still incarcerated under false blasphemy charges, illustrating the many failures in the Pakistan justice system"

He added;

"Villagers form Rimsha's community are still receiving threats, they have been forced out of work and Pakistani authorities have failed to react to their need.  Support for Imam Chisti is still strong in Mehrabadi and I pray that they will not become the forgotten victims of this debacle.  We congratulate Rimsha and her family and will pray for their future stability and safety.

Wilson was interviewed live on Premier Christian Radios news hour:

Friday 16 November 2012

Our Initial Sunday School delivery to Mardan Church

Shamim Masih and School teachers prepare gifts for the children of Mardan.

Shamim Masih travelled to Mardan 11th November 2012 - where the Christian community is still reeling form the Arson attack that saw their church, school and 27 homes burned to the ground or irreparably damaged.  His mission was to distribute Christmas gifts to children of the area following a number of cash contributions from our members.  

Over 40 children of different age groups were provided with colourful Christmas gift bags with a number of presents including; colouring books, colour pencils, razors, sharpeners, lead pencils, pouches, candies, chocolates, and other items.  

Shamim informs us that the children were very excited and pleased, they had been feeling very scared following the attack on their community and the gifts gave them much encouragement.  The good mannered children also received the gifts graciously and were very welcoming to Shamim, who has now visited three times.

The BPCA has now received 8kgs of books, Sunday school material, bibles and stationary and needs only another 2Kg of items so that we can send these to Pakistan before Christmas on a bulk delivery discount.  We appeal to churches, groups and individuals to please send any unwanted or spare sunday school literature, or stationary so that we might send our gifts across to this community in anticipation without much further delay.  If you can help please use the following details:

Please send us books, paints, blank and lined paper, colouring pencils, sharpeners, felt and other resources that we might compensate this church for what was taken for them.  Please do not be concerned about sending too much as any excess will be delivered to other churches in Pakistan.  Books can be in English or Urdu/Panjabi.

Items should be sent to our address as follows:

British Pakistani Christian Association
57 Green Lane

If you would like to contribute financially to the rebuilding of lives in Mardan then please use the following details:

The BPCA has launched a fund to assist with security for this community and aid for the occupants of the homes  looted and burnt in this attack. 

"Mardan Church Fund" (Please use the fund name as a reference) you can pay in several ways;
Pay by using the PayPal facility on the top right hand corner of our blog and electronic means of transfer will be initiated when you click donate written in the yellow oval. 

You can also send your contributions by cheque payable to;

"British Pakistani Christian Association"  Use address above.

Alternatively should you wish you can pay by BACS, direct debit or standing order by paying into the following account details: 

Sort Code: 20-67-90 
Account Number: 63468976

Christmas has come early and necessarily so!

Many of these children will receive little else for Christmas.

Our work continues but more help is needed.

Not often receiving gifts makes you nervous when it happens!

Gifts were graciously accepted by obedient children.

Boys and girls met with our version of Santa - Papa Shamim.

Over 40 children received gifts.

Christmas is not always as bright as it is in Britain but we did what we could to bring some joy for the season.

Shamim has spoken of the joy he felt at bringing joy to these impoverished young ones.

Only God knows what would have happened to these children if present in the school during the arson attack in Mardan that left this community's; school, Church and homes derelict.  Their vulnerability is evident in their young age.

Many young children were surprised at the gifts as they thought they had been forgotten.

Shamim spent a day at the school preparing the gifts, meeting the children and encouraging staff.

Together the children exhibited so much joy.

Shamim is ready to make this dangerous journey again to help this beleaguered community.

Christmas will have some joy now for these children but huge resources are needed to get families back on their feet.

Teachers form the school thanked contributors and the BPCA for the gifts.

Wednesday 14 November 2012

Rimsha Masih defence calls for acquittal in todays court hearing!

Shamim Masih gives update on Rimsha Masih Case (sic):

Islamabad High Court reserves verdict on plea seeking to Rismsha’s case dismissal

ISLAMABAD PAKISTAN (SHAMIM MASIH): Islamabad High Court (IHC) reserved its verdict on an application from Rimsha council Abdul Hameed Rana seeking to dismiss the Rimsha case on Wednesday 14 November 2012.

Abdul Hameed Rana (Rimsha’s lawyer) appeared before the chief justice IHC Mr. Iqbal Hameed Rehman taking his plea for Rimsha. He said that the honorable court has seen all the evidences and it’s been proven that the case was totally fabricated against the Christian girl of 14, Rimsha. Nothing has been proven so far so he requested the court to dismiss the case.

The opponent council Ch. Abdul Aziz has also given his arguments in the court today.
After hearing an hour discussion, the chief justice high court has reserved it verdict on an application seeking to dismiss the Rimsha case.

No date has been fixed for decision and this trial is again in a state of limbo.

Rimsha, a 14 years Christian girl, was arrested from a suburb of Islamabad in blasphemy case on August 16 and after three weeks she was released on bail on 8th September, 2012. Rimsha and her family, who have been in fear for their lives since the blasphemy allegations, were placed to an undisclosed location after her release on bail on September 8.

Pakistan perilous for women

Gemma Wilkinson is a mother distraught because her Pakistani ex-partner kidnapped their little girl in 2009 and took her to Lahore, Pakistan and left her there.  Despite by being imprisoned on his return to the UK, he refuses to give any clue as to what he has done with little Atiya, who - if still alive - would now be 6 years old.  Gemma has had to face talk that her little girl might have been sold like a piece of merchandise by her father, or worse.  The father, Razwan Ali Ranjum, will only claim 'she's in Iran'.

Anyone with information should phone police on 101, the Foreign Commonwealth Office on 020 7008 0878 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

And we should pray for her safety, for her wicked father's repentance, and for the comfort of the mother.


Tuesday 13 November 2012

BPCA Christmas appeal 2012 - Mardan church school

Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of Jesus.  And the advent season marks His coming – both of them, past and present.

But what does Jesus celebrate?  Jesus told us his criteria for judgement day just before he died.  Those who will inherit the kingdom will be those who fed the hungry, gave water to the thirsty, visited those in prison, clothed the naked, and took in strangers. 

Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’  (Matthew 25)

As St Paul said, we should ‘do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers

BPCA organises Mammoth Day 2012 in Redbridge!

On the 148th anniversary of the excavation of Uphall Brick Pits (along Ilford lane) - that led to the discovery of Britain's largest mammoth remains and only complete Mammoth skull - local people met outside Ilford Methodist Church to unveil a new plaque to  commemorate this significant find.

Around 200,000 years ago Ilford was a savannah and the climate would have held a temperature much hotter than in modern times.

Free "Mammoth burgers" and hot dogs were given to visitors at a celebratory music event that attended by Professor Adrian Lister senior palaeontologist from the Natural History Museum, he brought a mammoth tooth and toe bone for people to touch and see.  Young children also competed in a short quiz, produced by Ilford Historical Society - a prize of I-Tune vouchers was on offer for the winner!

"Enterprise" who run Redbridge's recycling provision held a stall encouraging the creation of mammoth fridge magnets using recyclable material

The event was successful and the permanant plaque that was funded by the British Pakistani Christian Association will be a permanent reminder of the heritage we have here in Ilford.  Ilford Museum within Redbridge Central Library has some of the original mammoth bones that are on loan from the Natural History Museum.  Moreover, one of the the Natural History Museums most prized possessions and displays is the original complete skull found locally, which is still called the "Ilford Mammoth."

Local people were fascinated by the Mammoth bones and the senior professor from the Natural History Museum in attendance at a our small Ilford event.

Despite cold weather people really enjoyed the day.

A real mammoth tooth.

A mammoth toe bone.

People came from all over to see what the fuss was about.

It was exciting just to be able to touch the mammoth bones.

Professor Adrian Lister spoke of the importance of the finds.

People gathered to listen to this fascinating news of hairy elephants.

Professor Lister brought an image of the skull at the Natural History Museum

Sir Antonio Brady discovered the remains during November 1854

A riveting speech had people locked in...

Visitors were literally glued to the spot!

The unveiling of the plaque drew attention.

Professor Lister spoke of the importance of this local find in the paleontological sphere.

Professor Lister described the savanna that once was here in Ilford.

People delayed shopping to watch the unveiling.

The unveiling of the plaque brought great excitement.

The only plaque with the Queens name in Ilford South.

A countdown of five led to a well received unveiling.

The new plaque replaces one that was stolen in January.

Wilson Chowdhry chair of the BPCA with Professor Adrian Lister.

The mammoth bones created huge excitement.

People ate mammoth burgers and hot dogs whilst learning about recycling.

Children and young people made mammoth fridge magnets and completed Ilford historical Society's quiz.

Innocent Elderly Christian tortured to death by police

Body of police brutality victim Niamat Masih

In a case that demonstrates the constant double-standards in Pakistan, the father of a Christian boy who had run off with a Muslim girl was tortured to death by the police.  Even though the girl, Shazia Bibi, went of her own accord, her father Mohammed Ashraf registered a FIR against Asif Nimran and his sisters Maria and Mehwish, accusing them of kidnapping Shazia on 24th September.

Since the actual accused were not found, the police of Arifwala District in the Pakpattan province of Punjab took into custody the elderly father of all the accused, Niamat Masih.  The outrage of the Muslim magistrate that a Muslim girl had gone of with a Christian boy was such that he agreed to the police request to remand Niamat in custody for 14 days, even though he had no involvement in the 'crime', and that the girl had entered into the relationship of her own accord - in sharp contrast to the genuine kidnaps, rapes and forced kidnap and marriage of Christian girls that happen about twice a day, with very few prosecutions.

The police then beat and tortured the elderly Niamat so badly that he was rendered unconscious.  They took him to the nearest hospital where he died of his injuries.

His body was taken on 15th October to another hospital for a post-mortem, where Christian pastors and politicians demonstrated for justice, to no avail.

Wilson Chowdhry, chairman of the BPCA said 'This case once again proves the double standards that go on in Pakistan.  A totally innocent man has been brutally tortured to death for the crime of having a son who loved a Muslim girl.  The police and magistrate abused the laws to feed their Muslim 'honour outrage'.  Meanwhile, on a daily basis, Muslims get away with brutally raping and kidnapping Christian and other minority girls, forcing them to convert and marry in what amounts to lifelong sex-slavery.'  

Source   2nd Source

Monday 12 November 2012

British Pakistani Christian Community Awards (The Winners!)

In a packed event, the line up for this years British Pakistani Christian Awards received commendation for their self-sacrificing  support for others and their promotion of our community.  Competition was fierce in an event that gleaned the true contributors behind the betterment of our small diaspora.  Judges for the competition included; Dr Martin Stern Nazi Holocaust survivor and former medical student at Peshawar University, Bishop Dr Donnett Thomas of Living Word Ministries International, Father Tim Finigan world famous Catholic blogger and Father Gareth Thomas of St Mary's Church Ilford (Mother Church for Ilford where people have worshipped since 1831).

The event was organised on the symbolic date 9th November 2012 to remember the mother of 5 Asia Bibi a victim of Pakistan's blasphemy laws, who received her death sentence exactly 3 years ago.  A prayer was said for her release.

Bishop Donnett opened the Award ceremony with a prayer and Dr Martin Stern spoke of the need for people of all faiths to condemn persecution and oppression wherever it surfaces.  He spoke of how he was taken into a concentration camp at only seven years old and would not be alive today if he had gone to Auschwitz, where member of his family died within 2 hours.  He praised the BPCA Awards, which he felt promoted stronger efforts form within communities and recognised the contribution made by so many worthy    humanitarians and community stalwarts.

Below we list the winners their biographies can be read on this link:

Wilson Chowdhry Chairman of the BPCA opens the inaugural event to an expectant audience.

Redbridge School Of Gymnastics provided a rousing gymnastics display themed on the Olympics.

The Winners 

Best Help from Non Pakistani-Christians


Runner Up:

Dan Wooding  - President /Editor - Assist News Service (USA)

Apostle Bishop Dr Donnett Thomas of Power of the Living Word Ministries International presents trophy to Upkar Rai- British Sikh Council.

This was one of the hardest categories to judge with the most nominations and closest scores.  Judges felt that Dan Wooding deserved recognition and it was agreed to present  a smaller trophy.  

Community Service 


Runner Up:

Reverend Rana Youab Khan 
Archbishop of Canterbury's International Interfaith Dialogues Assistant.

Trophy presented to Stephen Anjum by John Pontifex of "Aid to the Church in Need"

Stephen Anjum was joined by his two children on stage.

John Pontifex from "Aid to the Church in Need" presenting Revd Rana Khan with a runners up trophy.



Runner up:

Nish Asher

Bishop Donnett presents trophy to Sally Baily wife of Hammad Baily and memeber of his group 
"Voice for Jesus".

Sally Baily celebrates with a smile.

International Humanitarian


Runners up:

Watson Gill - International Christian Voice
Xavier Williams - Life for All Pakistan

John Pontifex and Wilson Chowdhry collecting trophy on behalf of John Sultan.

UK Humanitarian

John Bosco

Bishop Donnet and John Pontifex (ACNUK) presenting trophy to John Bosco.

Exemplary help for Pakistani Christians from UK Group


Ooberfuse with Dr Martin Stern Nazi Holocaust Survivor 

At the end of the Event Wilson Chowdhry thanked all the nominees, he said:

"Competition was very tight - the judges all spoke of how excellent each nomination was.  It is a shame that we cannot award everyone but in truth every nominee is a winner.  Today the BPCA simply gave  recognition for the wonderful work and hard endeavour, so many have put into making the lives of others better."

Wilson Chowdhry with Nish Asher and her father.

Nish Asher with Sania Satwat a volunteer for the Awards.

Hannah Chowdhry at the BPCA awards which was open to children and had a real family feel.

Eager participants await the result of the Inaugral Awards.

A glamorous event in the heart of Ilford (Town Hall).