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Thursday 28 February 2013

Please pray for Hannah.

Hannah Chowdhry with Bollywood dance supremo Honey Kalaria at Redbridge Carnival 2010

I do not often write personal posts on this blog but my family and I are going through a testing period and we really need your support in prayers.  My eldest daughter Hannah (9 years)  has been diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis and is now hobbling around with steps (or movements) no greater then 3 inches.   We live opposite a school and it takes her 10 minutes to get to class - a journey that previously took 2 minutes.

Hannah is a brave and stoic girl and has not complained about the infirmity, but as time drags on and the condition worsens, I worry that she will start to feel depressed.  Her friends unintentionally forget her during lunch time as they rush around in their games and I have today asked her school to allow Hannah access to a computer at lunch times.  Hannah's dance instructor has been so disappointed, she told us that Hannah was her most able pupil.  Hannah was preparing for a show in July and we have told her she can still make it to give her confidence. Last week all the girls gave Hannah a huge group hug, which cheered her up significantly.

At first we did not notice the problem and though Hannah complained about pains in her legs and arms, we simply put this down to overexertion, as Hannah was very active.  Then after an incident when she fell on her hand on our tiled floor and doctors could not find a fracture, despite her descriptions of extreme pain.  We eventually went to a private consultant who diagnosed the symptoms as Juvenile Arthritis.

My poor 9 year old child has had to have numerous blood tests, x-rays and MRI and other scans, during several visits to the doctor.  Even then surprisingly and despite the time off Hannah is still well above average in her educational progress.  This is due to her hard work and endeavour and belief in herself.  I hope this will continue.

Last month Juliet and I were surprised to get a call from the local child social services department.  The Officer described a complaint registered against us that Hannah had informed the caller that we had been beating her.  I do not know if the person who made the call made it in malice or in hope to protect Hannah from perceived abuse.  However, they referred to two incidents one when Hannah had a bandage on her hands (the incident described above) and one when her knee was bandaged after a similar fall in the garden 4 months earlier.

The social worker visited our house and inspected every room, he had private interviews with Juliet and I and then asked us for permission to interview our daughters.  We were surprised that Redbridge Council would send a male social worker to a household with three girls, however we permitted the private interviews as we felt we had no other option.  Never before have we allowed a man to be in a room alone with each daughter individually.  Hannah was asked a series of questions but Naomi (5 years) was shown pictures and questioned on how they made her feel.  Rather bizarrely she has described an image of a penguin looking healthy and one being strangled and being questioned on how they both made her feel?  She was a huge fan of Pingu before this interview, but now refuses to watch it.  Juliet and I are both upset about this method of interview, however the social worker report has clearly exonerated us, in no uncertain terms.

There are two reasons for me writing this account.  Firstly, I cried this morning after Hannah asked me to pick her from the living room and take her to the bathroom, so she could brush her teeth. I would really appreciate prayers for her recovery and for her to be strong throughout the period of time she has this ailment.  Please also pray for Juliet and I as we will have to readjust our lives to cope with Hannah's unfortunate condition.

God is good and I am confident he will heal her.

I met with a Chaplain at Norwich Cathedral last week and he informed me of the struggle his niece had with the condition, from 11 -15 years.  She is now back in good health, which has given me great solace.  He agreed to pray for Hannah and prayed a blessing over some crosses that we gave to our 3 daughters.

James 5:15

English Standard Version (ESV)
15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

Secondly, I ask that people do not make false statements about the concerns they may have about children in families.  If you feel you have a valid concern then describe the true details as per objective knowledge held by yourselves.  Local authorities will adjust their response to a situation according to the nature of the facts and are professional enough to make the right decisions.

We did not mind the fact that a call was made to social services, but were horrified by the false claim that Hannah had confided about "abuse" to the caller who made the allegation.  Families go through enough problems of their own without targeted hatred or unwarranted concern.

Philippians 4:6

English Standard Version (ESV)
do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Bangladesh cleric Abul Kalam Azad sentenced to die for war crimes

A court in Bangladesh has sentenced a well-known Muslim cleric to death for crimes against humanity during the country's 1971 independence war.
Abul Kalam Azad's conviction is the first verdict handed down by the controversial tribunal.
The cleric, a presenter of Islamic programmes on television, shot dead six Hindus and raped Hindu women during the war, prosecutors said.
He is thought to be in Pakistan and was found guilty in absentia.
BBC Bengali editor Sabir Mustafa says the verdict is being seen as a triumph for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who has made prosecuting war crimes a key goal of her government.
Critics of the tribunal, however, say the charges against Maulana Azad and others are politically motivated. The court is not endorsed by the United Nations.
Tribunal officials said Maulana Azad's family failed to co-operate with his court-appointed defence lawyer, and they did not provide any witnesses to testify on his behalf.
As a result, the case was concluded fairly quickly.
Mr Azad was a junior leader in the student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami party in 1971 and a member of the Razakar Bahini, an auxiliary force set up to help the Pakistani army by rooting out local resistance.
The Razakars were notorious for their operations targeting Hindus as well as civilians suspected of being sympathetic towards Bengali nationalists.
The International Crimes Tribunal was set up by the Awami League-led government to try those Bangladeshis accused of collaborating with Pakistani forces who attempted to stop East Pakistan (as Bangladesh was then) from becoming an independent country.
Those charged include a number of senior Jamaat leaders and a former minister from the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).
All of the people currently indicted by the tribunal deny the charges and opposition leaders accuse the government of carrying out a political vendetta.
Bangladesh government figures estimate more than three million people were killed during the independence war, although some researchers put the figure at between 300,000 and 500,000.

Bangladesh independence war, 1971

  • Civil war erupts in Pakistan, pitting the West Pakistan army against East Pakistanis demanding autonomy and later independence
  • Fighting forces an estimated 10 million East Pakistani civilians to flee to India
  • In December, India invades East Pakistan in support of the East Pakistani people
  • Pakistani army surrenders at Dhaka and its army of more than 90,000 become Indian prisoners of war
  • East Pakistan becomes the independent country of Bangladesh on 16 December 1971

Wednesday 27 February 2013

MP Andrew Stephenson sponsors launch of the BPCA's new report "The targeting of 'Minority Others' in Pakistan" this is your invite!

The British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA)
invites you to the launch of
our new
The Targeting of
‘Minority Others’ in Pakistan
on Tuesday 5th March 2013
in Committee Room 8, The House of Commons,
Westminster, London
at 6pm.
(Nearest Underground: Westminster)

Speakers include:
Wilson Chowdhry (BPCA)
Desmond Fernandes (Genocide Scholar)
Nathanael Lewis (BPCA)
Faiz M. Baluch (working with the International Voice for Baloch Missing Persons)
Daniel Scot (charged under Pakistan’s infamous Blasphemy Law - 295C in 1986)

Please RSVP to Alistair Gunn at or on 0207 219 7222 by Monday 4th March 2013

This report is being released at a critical time when the ‘minorities’ in Pakistan (inclusive of Baloch, Ahmadis, Christians, Hazaras, Shi’a, Hindus, Sikhs and ‘Others’) are being subjected to extreme forms of discrimination and targeting. Genocide, war crimes, extra-judicial murders, ‘disappearances’, ‘cleansing’, institutional discrimination, forced conversions, the terrorization of communities and ‘blasphemy-vigilantism’ are all concerns that form the focus of the report and the meeting.

This report is authored by Desmond Fernandes, Nathanael Lewis, Faiz M. Baluch, Ranbir Singh  (Hindu Human Rights Group), Kavita Takechandani (World Sindhi Congress) and Rubina Greenwood (World Sindhi Congress). The parliamentary meeting is sponsored and hosted by Andrew Stephenson, MP for Pendle, and is open to members of the public.

Note: Please bring the attached invitation with you. On arrival, you have to pass through a security check. You may be asked to show proof of identity. Further information on travelling to Parliament can be found on the Parliamentary website -

If you have any further questions please contact:

The British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) is a human rights advocacy group, set up in the wake of the Gojra massacre of Christians in 2009 to raise the profile of the persecution of Christians and ‘Other minority’ groups and communities in Pakistan, as well as support those claiming asylum in the UK and elsewhere.

'Shahbaz Bhatti: A Martyr for Religious Freedom in Pakistan'

Come join us to remember the Martyr Shahbaz Bhatti at University College London.

The BPCA has been invited to talk on the sacrifice made by Shahbaz Bhatti during his campaign to remove intolerance and persecution directed at minorities in Pakistan.  Event details as follows:

Monday, 4th March 2013 at 7pm
Location: Newman House, 111 Gower Street, WC1E 6AR (University College London)
Wilson Chowdhry will be speaking to us about Shahbaz Bhatti, as well as about his work as Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association.

Drinks and refreshments will be provided.
For more information about the BPCA, click here to visit their website.

Click here to visit Wilson Chowdhry's Twitter page.

Tuesday 26 February 2013

Pakistan's first ever Blasphemy law victim to speak at BPCA Protest and Trafalgar Square Peace Concert 2nd March 2013

The BPCA holds its annual protest and peace concert on the 2nd March 2012, at various locations across London.    

(click here for more details)

This year we have a particularly special guest visitor in Daniel Scott the first ever victim of the ilslamized version of Section 295b&c.  Here is his biography:

Daniel Scot was born and educated in Pakistan. He excelled as a student and in time became a Mathematics Professor in University Colleges in Pakistan. He has been involved in sharing his faith with Muslims since 1965 when he was in high school.

It was the active sharing of his faith that resulted in him being the first individual to be charged under Pakistan’s infamous Blasphemy Law (295C) in 1986. Some Muslims used this law in an attempt to silence Daniel.  He was hunted by a large number of people who were intent on killing him. However, God used the situation to bring Daniel and 120 other church leaders face to face with Late General Zia ul- Haq  who was not only the initiator of the Blasphemy Law but also the President of Pakistan. During this time Daniel declined all invitations to accept Islam, an action, which would have spared him from persecution and the risk of death.

Daniel was delivered from the life-threatening situation that he found himself in and was able to flee Pakistan, followed by his family two and half years later. In Australia, Daniel began to teach mathematics in 1988 to 1994, after six years of teaching and research at the University of Queensland, he saw the need for inter-faith dialogue to eradicate misunderstandings between Christians and Muslims. Since that time Daniel has devoted himself to religious matters - teaching Christians about Islam and Muslims about Christianity & Islam (many Muslims know very little about what really the Qur’an and Hadith teach).

The Board of Directors of Ibrahim Ministries International Inc. (IMI) has appointed Daniel and Mariat Scot as directors.  Ibrahim is the name of Abraham from the Bible, a name that Jews, Christians and Muslims consider to be pivotal in their respective religions.

Daniel and Mariat teach in many different Colleges and Seminaries in Australia and overseas.  They strongly believe that people ought to live out their faith with a clear understanding of what their faith teaches.  As a result, they have been involved in full-time research and teaching on Islam since 1994 throughout Africa, Australia, America, Asia and Europe (over fifty nations). 

In 2002, Daniel was charged with vilification of Muslims for teaching Christians about the Qur’an, Hadith, Life of Muhammad and how to explain Christianity in a way that Muslims will understand; he was found guilty by a judge at Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).  In appeal to the Supreme Court, three judges found the VCAT judgment to be in gross error and awarded Daniel half the costs. The case lasted for five years and seven months but both parties came to an agreement out of court:
The right of each other, their communities and all persons, within the limits provided for by law, to robustly debate religion, including the right to criticise the religious belief of another, in a free, open and democratic society.

Increasingly, Daniel’s advice is being sought by politicians and other civic and church leaders, throughout the world. He spoke a group of police offices and sheriffs in California concerning Islam. In February 2005 he has addressed members at the House of Lords, and the House of Commons in London, when the British Parliament was considering the introduction of Religious Vilification type laws ‘Hate Crime’. He has also addressed politicians and very senior national politicians and their advisors in the Netherlands, USA, Sweden, Norway and Australia.  Daniel addressed the UN Human Rights Committee in Geneva in March 2007 on the rights of freedom of religion and speech for minorities groups. In April 2007 at a three days ‘Deliberation Australia’ he was on a panel in the Old Parliament House in Canberra where some of the sessions were chaired by Bob Hawk, the ex-Prime Minister of Australia. The same year Daniel was given a prestigious International award by ‘Kairos Journal’, for refusing to compromise his pointed and informed assessment of Islam in the face of prosecution in Australia. Daniel is an accredited pastor with the Assemblies of God and also serves as the advisor on Islam for Christian Solidarity Worldwide.

Daniel currently has published work (A Summary of the Qur’an, ISBN: 0-646-43900-6); (Share the Gospel with Muslims, ISBN 9-780-980 324419); Windows into the Qur’an, ISBN 978-0-9803244-2-b and hopefully five other books are due for release by the end of the year or early next year. In total Daniel has written twelve book, five books related to the Qur’an and seven on other subjects related to Islam.

Some of the courses that Daniel teaches:
¨            Middle Eastern Culture and how to explain the Gospel (National Christian Leaders).
¨            Introduction to Islam: One Week Intensive course (Master level).
¨            Introduction to the Qur’an: One Week Intensive course (Missionaries to Muslims).
¨            Understanding Islam to Reach Muslims: Two Weeks Intensive course (Missionaries to Muslims)
¨            Apologetics: One Week Intensive course (Master level).
¨            Introduction to Islam: Three Days intensive course (Post graduate).
¨            Introduction to the Qur’an: One Day intensive course.
¨            Introduction to Islam: One Day intensive course.
¨            On Islam –Practical Aspects: Two Weeks intensive course (Post graduate).
¨            Understanding Islam to Reach Muslims: Nine Weeks (Diploma level).
¨            A Christian Introduction to Islam: Twenty Weeks (Lay people and Missionaries).
¨            Ministry to Muslim Women: One Week course (25 Lectures)
¨            Various lectures at Oklahoma Wesleyan University in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

More sensitive institutes are not listed; a sample of Institutes where courses have been taught since 1995:
¨            Haggai Institute, Singapore & Hawaii, USA [1997-2003].
¨            Summer Institute of Muslim Studies, Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA [1999].
¨            International Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity, UK [1995, 1996].
¨            Asia Pacific Theological Seminary, Baguio, Philippines [2000].
¨            Youth With A Mission, Brisbane and Canberra, Australia [1998-2005].
¨            World Harvest Institute, Southern Cross College, Sydney, Australia [2001-2004]. 
¨            Queensland Baptist College of Ministries, Brisbane, Australia [1998-2006].
¨            Jubilee International Christian College, Brisbane, Australia [1996-1999].
¨            Bible College of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia [1999-2011].
¨            Ibrahim Ministries International, Brisbane, Australia [1998-2006].
¨            Harvest Bible College, Melbourne, Australia [2002, 2011-2012].
¨            International Christian College (previously: Asian Pacific Institute), Brisbane, Australia [2000-2012].
¨            Conferences and Seminars arranged by Arabic Christian Prospective based in Anaheim California [2000-2010].
¨            Oklahoma Wesleyan University [2012]
¨            And many others such as Leading the Way (LTW) [2011]; and Voice of the Martyrs (VOM), [2011-2012].

Monday 18 February 2013

Still no Justice for Shahbaz Bhatti

Shahbaz Bhatti on an aid mission.

A BISHOP from Pakistan has called on his country’s government to catch the killers of Christian human rights campaigner Shahbaz Bhatti.

Bishop Sebastian Shaw, Apostolic Administrator of Lahore, told Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need that almost two years on no one had been tried for his murder – and gave his blessing to a 3rd March event in London commemorating Mr Bhatti’s life and work.

Bishop Shaw said: “Nothing has happened yet, but we ask the government of Pakistan that the killers be arrested and brought to justice.”
Bishop Shaw

Mr Bhatti, federal minister for minority affairs, was murdered in Islamabad on 2nd March 2011 after calling for clemency for Asia Bibi, the first woman to be sentenced to death under the country’s blasphemy laws.
Abid Malik, who was arrested on suspicion of Mr Bhatti’s murder, was cleared of the charge in February 2012.

Bishop Shaw said that a few months ago the press in Pakistan suggested his killer may have been from outside the country.

He added: “We are very sad for what has happened to Shahbaz Bhatti, who was martyred.
“At the same time I request that all people should pray and have respect for human dignity, because God has made us to praise him through our prayer and the belief we have in him, the one God.”

Bishop Shaw gave his encouragement to people to attend the multi-faith event on Saturday 3rd March, remembering Shahbaz Bhatti and calling for an end to the suffering caused by Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.
The day’s events will begin with an inter-denominational Christian service at 11am outside the Pakistan High Commission in Knightsbridge.

This will be followed by the presentation of a petition to Downing Street and the day concludes with an inter-faith peace concert in Trafalgar Square starting at 3pm.

Bishop Shaw said: “I encourage all people who are participating in the march to continue to support people who stand for their faith and at the same time are influenced by their faith they work for building of a society where people live in peace and harmony.”

Bishop Shaw’s plea for Mr Bhatti’s killers to be caught was echoed by Wilson Chowdhry, chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association.

Mr Chowdhry said: “We have to make sure that our main focus is justice. Those who killed Shahbaz have not been brought to justice.”

Mr Chowdhry added: “The Pakistan government has a lot to answer for. The fact that the killers have so far escaped justice is a blight on Pakistan.

“We should highlight the need that something needs to be done.”

Mr Chowdhry will be one of the speakers on 3rd March – along with Aid to the Church in Need (UK)’s John Pontifex, who has travelled widely in Pakistan seeing first hand the problems faced by the country’s Christians.

Speakers from non-Christian organisations include Upkar Rai of the British Sikh Council, Ranbir Singh of the Hindu Human Rights Group and Imam Dr Hargey of the Oxford Islamic Congregation.

The events on Saturday, 3rd March 2013 begin with a one-hour inter-denominational service at 11am outside the UK High Commission for PakistanLowndes Square,London SW1X 9JN. The day’s final event is an inter-faith peace concert in Trafalgar Square starting at 3pm.

Churchgoers attending a mass for Shahbaz Bhatti at Sacred Heart Cathedral Lahore.

Saturday 16 February 2013

The Talibanization of Karachi

In every area of Pakistan, extremist groups are increasingly gaining influence, and the general public mood is increasingly headed in their direction.  It is harder and harder to distinguish extremists from general society, and whereas before, many attacks on Christians were largely to be laid at the door of extremists, more and more they are being done by ordinary Pakistani citizens.

Lawless Karachi is a case in point, with the Taliban gaining more and more control in this, Pakistan's largest city and major port.  As well as the many and continuing attacks on the Christian slum Essa Nagri which we reported on last year, there was another attack that killed two Christians who had the misfortune to be crossing the road when some gangsters from one of the political parties where protesting about the targeted killing of one of their own members.  As well as Taliban controlling some areas of Karachi, there are repeated assassinations and gun fights between the enforcers of various political parties, with the police either caught in the middle, or police stations taking the side of one particular political party or another.  

There have been at least 2000 such killings in 2012, and over 100 in the first few weeks of this year.  

Christian murdered for refusing to convert

Younas Masih, a 55 year old Christian man in Balochistan province had been repeatedly pressed to convert to Islam by work colleagues, including blackmail attempts.  On 1st February there was another attempt at converting him, and once again he refused, and his co-workers issued insults and threats.  As he was walking home from work in Charman, (a town right on the border with Afghanistan, on the Quetta to Kandahar road) he was shot five times by a gunman and left for dead.  He was taken to hospital where the bullets were removed, but he died in Intensive care 5 days later on 5th February.  

What made things even more devastating for the family is that the police refused to file a report on the attack and murder

Sources 1 , 2,

Redbridge Resurrection Walk of Faith and Easter Day Outreach Concert 2013

The BPCA is proud to announce that we will be organising the first ever Redbridge Resurrection Walk of Faith and Easter Outreach Concert.  The Event details are as follows:

Date:               31st March 2013 (Easter Day)
Time:              14:00 procession to set off from Cranbrook Bpatist Church
Time:              15:00 United Churches of Ilford Outreach and Praise Concert
Venue:            Ilford Town Centre (Town Hall steps for Concert)
Activities:       Facepainting, Music, Food stalls, Henna, Childrens Art workshop, Bible debate,  Learn more about Jesus stall, Book stalls, jewellery, Bouncy Castle and much more. 

So par Participating churches include:

City Gates Church
Clementswood Baptist Church
Cranbrook Baptist Church
Eden Christian Centre
Grace Church
Ilford Methodist Church
High Road Baptist Church
Kings Church
Salvation Army Ilford
Ooberfuse a Christian Band of international acclaim will be playing live at our outreach concert.

Although the London Borough of Redbridge has a proud Christian heritage, it has never held an Easter day Celebration.  So we are proud that as a minority community we have been able to be pioneers in establishing a long term legacy for Christians in Redbridge.

This Event itself has been organised in response to several callings from God.  Whilst the BPCA has been felt  led to coordinate an Easter event in the Borough, we have been strengthened in our resolve by similar callings that have been felt by leaders of Eden Church, Grace Church and High Road Baptist Church.  Moreover the support given for the event through other local churches, has cemented our opinion that God's hand is at work. 
Although we are concerned by the reduction in Christians form 50.7% of our borough to 36.8%, the main theme of this years event will be to galvanise unity amongst brethren   It was felt by members of local churches attending the planning meetings for the event that our first priority was to bind together our brethren.  The motto chosen for the event by The Revd Jon Law of Cranbrook Baptist Church is "One Lord, one faith."  This does not mean we will not use the success of this event for outreach.  Quite the contrary we hope through the joy and unity that will be exhibited at this event many will seek to know Christ.

Despite these reductions in members of the church locally, the majority of our historic churches are still in operation today. Moreover, I attend High Road Baptist Church which has an approximate population of 300 members and City gates in Ilford is said to have a congregation of around 700. Ilford Asian Church has close to 30 Asian Christian families, many of whom are Pakistani, so our own community is relatively large in this part of London.  Work must be done to counteract this decline especially as Boroughs such as Newham, Haringey, Brent and Lambeth have shown an increase in followers.  

Christianity has lost 13 percentage points since the 2001 census but still remains the largest religious group in the Country, now at 59% of the population.  42 % of the country no profess to be atheists the largest group increase.  Muslim now make up between 4-5% of the country, although their percentage in Redbridge has almost doubled.

Please pray for a successful event!

The 2011 census shows a decline in the number of Christians in Redbridge:

2001 Number2001 %2011 Number2011 %
Other religion1,0380.4%1,3480.5%
No religion22,9529.6%30,69111.0%
Religion not stated17,5607.4%18,0486.5%

Friday 15 February 2013

BPCA report to help Canada save lives - press release

BPCA report to help Canada save lives
A British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) report has won high praise from Canadian government officials.  The research officials, dealing with asylum cases, were preparing updated country reports concerning Pakistan, reports that will be used as background material when dealing with asylum cases from Pakistan. 
The research unit of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) of Canada approached the BPCA asking for replies to a number of questions, to which the BPCA gave a prompt and full reply.  The IRB officials also stated they used the BPCA submission to the UN Human Rights Council produced earlier in the year.  Along with submissions from other organizations and the officials own research, the BPCA material was heavily used in the three final reports, which will be used by Immigration officials in deciding cases of Pakistani Christians seeking asylum in Canada.  As is also the case in the UK, Pakistani’s form a high proportion of those seeking asylum to escape severe persecution in Pakistan. 
The three IRB reports cover the situation and treatment of Christians generally in Pakistan, the blasphemy laws, and the situation of converts from Islam to Christianity in Pakistan. 
Nasarani Ki Himmet, one of BPCA’s researchers said ‘We were pleased to be able to produce a report with such short notice that the Canadian government found so useful.  BPCA researchers are currently working on a much bigger report that should be out soon covering the situation in Pakistan for all minorities, and which will be a useful resource for governments, universities and NGO’s worldwide’. 

Notes to Editors
The BPCA was founded after a massacre of Christians in and around a town called Gojra in 2009, which included a family burnt alive.  It deals in advocacy work, with a 100% success rate in the asylum appeals it has been involved with, as well as promoting inter-faith harmony among Pakistani’s in the UK, and is starting to also do relief and development work in Pakistan. 
For details of the thank you letter from the Canadian Government, see
To examine the three reports produced, see

3rd March Memorial service press release

On 3rd March, Pakistani Christians from across London will unite to commemorate the 2nd anniversary of the martyrdom of Shahbaz Bhatti, the Catholic federal government minister assassinated for his opposition to blasphemy laws and his support for Asia Bibi, the Christian mother of 5 sentenced to death for blasphemy.  The event, under the auspices of the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA), has drawn support from Pakistani church ministers and congregations across the capital, and is being held at 6pm in St Mary’s Church, Great Ilford.  The local vicar, Father Gareth Thomas, will preside over the service, with at least five Pakistani church ministers also participating.  Music will be provided by the Catholic band Ooberfuse, who have partnered with the BPCA in raising the profile of Pakistani Christians through their songs, including ‘Free Asia now’ and ‘Their Blood cries out’.

BPCA chairman Wilson Chowdhry said :

‘It is great to see a show of unity among Pakistani Christians in our capital.  For all our differences,  we still share the most important thing of all, and that is our Saviour, Jesus Christ, and we can all honour those who hallow his name by laying down their lives after his pattern for the sake of the church, and it is in that spirit that we, along with brothers in faith, and even those from outside the faith who are more than welcome to attend, come together to honour the life and sacrifice of Shahbaz Bhatti.’

(click here for more details)

If you would like to donate to the work of the BPCA please use the following details:

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.
Address : British Pakistani Christian Association
57 Green Lane
IG1 1XG 

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

2nd March Protest Press Release

On Saturday 2nd March, the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) will be holding a protest outside the Pakistani Embassy and 10 Downing Street to raise the plight of Christians and other minorities in Pakistan, especially concerning the blasphemy law.  The event is being held in memory of Shahbaz Bhatti, the assassinated Catholic government minister who was slain by Muslim extremists 2 years ago for publicly opposing the blasphemy law and standing up for the rights of minorities. 
The BPCA’s chairman, Wilson Chowdhry said :

‘Once more we are calling on all Christians and other good-hearted people to come and show their trenchant opposition to the oppression and genocide that is ongoing and worsening in Pakistan today.  It isn’t just extremists, but the state and police are also complicit in the systematic suppression of a wide range of minority communities, Christians, Sikhs, Hindu’s, Ahmahdi’s and others.  People may debate whether Pakistan is a terrorist state, but for its minority members it is absolutely and undeniably a terrorist society, and the state is a major part of the problem.’

The event starts off outside the Pakistani Embassy in Lowndes Square, Knightsbridge with a worship service at 11am, and protests 12 noon to 1pm.  After lunch the protest resumes at 2pm outside 10 Downing Street, followed by a 3 hour peace rally and concert in Trafalgar Square at 3pm featuring a number of musicians, as well as speakers of all faiths and creeds, including Imam Hargey of Oxford, Church of England Synod member Allison Ruoff, as well as various human rights groups and a Christian asylum seeker from Pakistan.

(Click here for more information)

Thursday 14 February 2013

2nd March 2013 protest against discrimination and persecution of Pakistani Christians and Trafalgar Square interfaith peace concert

MEP Jean Lambert and Former Bishop of Rochester Dr Michael Nazir Ali at our 2011 Peace Rally.

The BPCA is organising it's next annual protest march against the intolerance and discrimination of Pakistani minorities, and Trafalgar square Shahbaz Bhatti memorial peace concert on 2nd March 2013.

The Blasphemy Laws of Pakistan that have created second class citizenship, for non-Muslims living in Pakistan. Section 295b&c and 298a of the Pakistan Penal Code have frequently been used as a tool to oppress people of faith minorities and to enact retribution for personal vendettas on the vulnerable. Below we list the itinerary:

10:30: Set up to the fore of Pakistan Embassy, Lowndes Square, Knightsbridge (feel free to join us and to assist) 

 1 hour worship service
12:00: Submission of petition at Pakistan Embassy 
12:00 - 13:00: 30 minutes of political speeches

Break for lunch - petitioners/protestors to make their own way to 10 Downing Street.

14:00: Arrive at 10 Downing Street - 20 minutes of political speeches
14:20: Submission of Petition at 10 Downing Street
14:30: Speakers from attendees (open list)
14:45: Prayer and then initiate march to Trafalgar Square

15:00: 3 hour Trafalgar Square Shahbaz Bhatti Peace Rally and Memorial Concert.

Guests include:
  • Michael Scott - First ever Victim of Paksitan's islamized Blasphemy Laws
  • Rubab Mehdi Rizvi - Barrister and Former European for the Ministry of Human Rights Pakistan
  • Pastor Noble Samuel - Heston Asian United Refirm Church
  • Alan Craig - Christian Peoples Alliance
  • John Pontifex - Aid to the Church in Need
  • Imam Dr Hargey - Oxford Islamic Congregation
  • Alison Ruoff Synod Member  for the Church of England
  • Dr Martin Stern (Nazi Holocaust Survivor and former Student at Peshawar University)
  • Archbishop George Booty - The Communion of Christian Celtic Convergence Churches
  • Upkar Rai - British Sikh Council
  • Isuru Perera Youth Coordinator Redbridge Bhuddist Centre
  • Mathhew Jones - Christian Solidarity Worldwide
  • Father Gareth Jones - St Marys Parish Ilford
  • John Bosco - Christian Social Link
  • Jesbir Singh - Free Sarabjit Singh Campaign
  • Ranbir Singh - Hindu Human Rights Group
  • Stephen Anjum - Asylum seeker and campaigner for human rights
  • Julian Bond - Christian Muslim Forum
  • Saleem Dutt - Victim of Shanti Nagar atrocity
  • Sayed Ali - Christian Muslim Forum
This year we will also hold a 1 minute silence for Shahbaz Bhatti and hear some testimonial tributes to our former brother.

Please complete a comment if you will be coming to encourage others