- British Pakistani Christians to express frustration with Pakistan governments lack of action to protect minority Christians against deadly attacks -
Protesters will gather outside the Pakistan High Commission in London on Tuesday the 24th September at 12pm to express their anger at the recent twin suicide bombing in a church in Peshawar, Pakistan which killed 75 people. Hundreds of Christian Asians across the UK will assemble at 34-36 Lowndes Square to pressure the Pakistan government into action and to provide greater security for Christians in the large majority Muslim country. Protesters will then move onto 10 Downing Street where they will hand over a petition to pressure the UK government to help the minority community in Pakistan.
The twin suicide bombers struck on Sunday morning as worshippers were due to leave the packed All Saints church in the northern Pakistani city. The protest has been organised by the BPCA (British Pakistani Christian Association), which represents Christians of Pakistani origin in the UK - many of which have fled Pakistan to escape the violence and intimidation they faced.
Wilson Chowdhry, chairman of the BPCA, said: "This is one of the worst attacks on Christians in Pakistan we have ever seen. Many people have died and many have been seriously injured, but still nothing is done by the Pakistan Government to prevent such attacks - which are becoming more and more frequent. We have organised this protest outside the High Commission to highlight the desperate plight of Christians in Pakistan and the constant threat of violence they face on a daily basis. "
Christians in Pakistan have long faced violence from militant Islamic groups, but in recent time's violent attacks on Christian communities, businesses and homes have increased. Only this year a 16-year-old Christian girl in Lahore was abducted, gang-raped and forcibly converted to Islam before being forced to marry a Muslim man. When she and her family reported the case to police, they were insulted and harassed - another prime example of the brutal violence Christians face in Pakistan.
Mr Chowdhry added: "Many British Pakistani Christians still have close family ties in Pakistan and are continuously worried about the safety of their loved ones. We hope the Pakistan government will finally take note of the horrifying violence Christians must live with and more importantly take strong action to stop it. Those guilty of orchestrating this horrendous crime should be tried and punished. In addition, the government must provide greater security for Christians across Pakistan and reassure them that their way of life is not in danger."
In reaction to the recent attack, many other groups and leading campaigners have joined the BPCA in its protest in London including Upkar Rai from the British Sikh Council, Ranbir Singh from the Hindu Human Rights Group, Jesbir Singh from free Sarabjit Singh Campaign, John Bosco from the Christian Social Link, Peter Tatchell who is a International Human Rights Campaigner and Rubab Mehdi Rizvi who is a Barrister and Human Rights Activist.
Protesters will gather outside the Pakistan High Commission, 34-36 Lowndes Square, London SW1X 9JN at 12pm and then move onto 10 Downing Street where at 3pm Wilson Chowdhry and other senior members of the BPCA will hand over a petition to the UK government.
Shamim Mahmood our BPCA field representative will be visiting the community today to gauge how we can provide assistance. We have opened a community restoration fund to help this beleaguered community. The fund will provide coffins and pay medical expenses for those affected by the blasts, in addition to providing on going support to needy families.
If you would like to donate to our relief work our bank details are as follows:
Sort Code: 20-67-90
Account number: 63468976
Ref: Peshawar Bomb Blast
Ref: Peshawar Bomb Blast
Alternatively if you would like to send a one of donation please use the pay-pal facility on the top right hand corner of our blog, or simply send a cheque made payable to the BPCA to our address; 57 Green Lane, Ilford, Essex, IG1 1XG.
With your support we hope to change the lives of millions of Christians in Pakistan.