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Friday 31 January 2014


 GLASGOW (30 Jan 2014) – The Evangelical Alliance Scotland is calling on the governments of Scotland and the UK to intercede with the Pakistani government to rescind the death penalty against a 69-year old Scotsman.
Mohammad Asghar, from Edinburgh, is scheduled to die after being convicted of blasphemy by Pakistan's Federal Shariah Court. The sentence was handed down on 4 December 2013 and the government of Pakistan has until 4 February 2014 to either appeal or implement it.
Director of the Evangelical Alliance Scotland, Fred Drummond, is urging the Pakistani authorities to appeal the decision. He is also calling on the governments of Scotland and the UK to raise the blasphemy law with the Pakistani authorities at their meeting today.
“It is irrelevant whether Mr Asghar is a Christian or not. What is relevant is concern over the misuse of the law which has been raised by numerous people including Pakistani politicians. Alongside the Church of Scotland and several human rights groups, including Amnesty International, we join the call for this blasphemy law to be rescinded.”
“The Alliance and its partners have consistently spoken out against the law which is being used to persecute Muslims, Christians and those of other minority religions in the country.“

National Coordinator for the South Asian forum of the Evangelical Alliance, Manoj Raithatha, says “every human life is sacred and a gift from God and so to be implementing this violates the basic human right to life and freedom of religion and speech.”

Thursday 30 January 2014

Jesus' walk in Golgotha to be re-enacted in Ilford!

A re-enactment of Jesus' walk to Golgotha will take place in Ilford on Tuesday.  The event is being organised by the Redbridge Easter Parade Planning Committee to highlight their procession and festival to be held on Easter Mnday (21st April 2014).

It is hoped the shocking depiction of Christ's final hours on our earth, will remind local people of His great sacrifice and encourage better attendance at Ilford churches.

Pastor Bryon Jones of Eden Christian Centre said;  "Jesus dying on the cross was one of the most pivotal moments of Christian history, it was a necessary act to provide the opportunity for eternal life to mankind."

The re-enactment will take place at Ilford Town Centre on Tuesday at 10:30am.  Onlookers will be met with images of the brutal whipping and stoning of Jesus, as he carried the heavy wooden cross,on which he would later die from suffocation.

Wilson Chowdhry Event Manager for the parade said;  Our Easter Parade will be a day of excitement and joy for all people of Redbridge.  Fun activities such as a procession, live music, drama, games, stalls and a funfair will make it a great outing for families."  He added; "The event will also have a more serious message, attempting to remove the myths about Christianity and reminding people of the true message of Easter, based on hope and new life"

Pakistan problems and British Citizens

Mentally ill Brit sentenced to death for blasphemy
Concern is mounting in various parts of British society about the situation in Pakistan.  The British Methodist church has written to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to voice their concern about the change in blasphemy law ordered by the highest Sharia court in Pakistan - a change that would mean only the death sentence would apply, tightening rules which say that life imprisonment - already a barbaric and evil law in itself - is an option.  Given the role that the Sharia court holds in Pakistani government, the Government must implement the law unless it appeals - the appeal window closed on 4th February.

Further stories reported in the national news media highlight the evil of the blasphemy laws.  Two British citizens have been sentenced under the blasphemy laws in the last year or so.  An Ahmadi named Masud Ahmad who recited a passage of the Koran, a practice forbidden to Ahami's under the blasphemy law, was imprisoned in November 2012.  And now a mentally ill British citizen, Mohammad Asghar, originally arrested in 2010 for blasphemy, has been sentenced to death, in a case his lawyer said was originally a property dispute.  However, Mr Asghar apparently sent letters to various officials claiming to be Muhammed, an act which, in Pakistan, is definitely diagnostic of mental illness or some form of madness. Mr Asghar was treated for paranoid schizophrenia in Edinburgh, before travelling to Pakistan in 2010.  The fact that Mr Asghar's lawyer is so frightened that he refused to allow press to name him for fear of threats in violence is unsurprising, but clear demonstration of the mob-rule that is associated with the blasphemy laws already.

In another case at the other end of British society - and another case that will ring bells with those who have knowledge of the plight of Christians in Pakistan - an influential British citizen of Pakistani heritage is accused of land-mafia tactics and use of force in a property dispute.  Javed Khan, is cited as one of the UK's most prominent Muslims, and is head of a prominent charity backed with millions in government funds, Victim Support, aimed at helping the victims of crime.  He is also supposed to be taking over soon as CEO of Children's Charity Barnado's soon.  According to reports, he traveled to Pakistan and used brute force to settle a long-running property dispute in his favour.  Reports say that, accompanied by about eight men armed with automatic weapons, he turned up in Toyota pick-up trucks and bulldozed parts of the wall of a village cemetery, and personally threatened to shoot a middle-aged woman who tried to stop him, as well as the village chief, and shots were fired in the air.  This kind of intimidation in such disputes by powerful and influential figures is not rare in Pakistan.  Mr Khan is reported to be under threat of contempt of court as the matter was being heard at a civil court.  The police 'resolved' of 'defused' the situation by, after holding Mr Khan in custody for several hours, helping him to rebuild the wall along the 'correct' - according to Mr Khan - line.

Friday 24 January 2014

Petition to Condemn Hate Speech broadcast on Satellite Television in Britain

A mainstream Pakistani TV channel (ARY TV Sky Channel UK 806) recently broadcast a programme in which the news analyst made inflammatory comments against Hindus.

Being a satellite channel this was heard all over Britain and indeed the world. When brought to the attention of BPCA chairman Wilson Chowdhry, he immediately contacted Ranbir Singh, chair of the Hindu Human Rights Group. On viewing the material the latter released this statement:

"Hindu Human Rights Group is deeply concerned that such statements were broadcast on television ion Britain. The UK has worked hard to ensure that all communities participate and have equal rights in this society. Activities which inflame hatred against any section of British society should be condemned and decisive action should be taken. While freedom of speech is sacrosanct this does not include unambiguous hate speech which is designed to explicitly cause harm to any individual or community. HHR therefore condemns the virulent and toxic nature of this Pakistan TV discussion programme which threatens to unravel the hard work done over the years in making this country tolerant, open and indeed welcoming to people of all faiths and backgrounds."
Mr Wilson Chowdhry Chairman of the BPCA echoed this condemnation, especially in the light of the hard work which the BPCA has undertaken with various organisations and individuals in order to foster better community relations and understanding within people from different backgrounds. Wilson Chowdhry said;

"We at the BPCA  are very concerned about the airing of the Pakistan TV Show on ARY TV in which the presenter openly advocated and glorified the killing of Hindus.  As an organisation that has worked constructively with many communities and individuals of many backgrounds, we feel that hate speech such as this, only undermines the goodwill and understanding that makes Britain, such an open and broad-minded society. Moreover, the hate messages only serve to stir up dissension that will culminate in alienation and conflict. We would therefore urge the relevant authorities and media watchdogs to take appropriate action."

The BPCA has reported the offence to media watchdogs OFCOM and Mr Chowdhry who sits on the Scotland Yard SO15 'Communities Together Strategic Engagement Team' Panel, has asked the South Asian Officer to investigate further into the broadcast and what action can be taken.

The BPCA and HHR urge people of good conscience concerned about hate speech, to sign the petition below:

Full translations from the Urdu programme broadcast on ARY are provided below:

0:08: If you ask me the reality then I pray to Allah that Americans should depart from there, leaving the Indians behind.

0:14: It has been a long time now since we have not massacred the Hindus in Afghanistan.

0:18: Historically, it always happened there and for the same reason the mountains of Afghanistan are called Hindu Kush.

0:24: Hindu Kush means a place where Hindus are massacred, a place that kills Hindus.

0:29: Historically, whenever Hindus from India have entered Afghanistan, they have been slaughtered there

0:34: And we pray to Allah that Americans should leave there, leaving the Baniya [caste] behind

O:40: And we would treat this Baniya in a way that it would not dare to act towards Afghanistan and Pakistan for the next thousand years. (ends at 0:48)

0:57: Afghan Taliban have always been in support of Pakistan there. They are loyal to us. They are our neighbours, our brothers. (ends at 1:04)

1:19: Afghanistan is a Muslim country and only Muslim countries will decide the fate of its History.

1:24: Turkey, Iran and Pakistan will unanimously decide about Afghanistan.

1:29: The Hindu pagans/infidels have nothing to do there.

1:32: Afghan Taliban are waiting to bury the Hindu pagans there just as the Americans have been buried there.

1:40: We are just praying. They are no problem for us. We only have problems as long as the Americans are there.


2: 23: It is a time for India to have a serious limited war with Pakistan and they want to have it. (Ends at 2:30)

3:06: That war will neither be limited, nor conventional.

3:09: They are living in fools’ paradise and these infidels/pagans can’t imagine that once they would tease us, we might, God willing, take our war to Delhi while fighting for the freedom of Kashmir. It is an ancient history of ours. (ends at 3:19).

3:19: From Hindu Kush Mountains to Delhi, it is not the area of Hindus.

3:25: It is the area of Muslims and although there are Hindus temporarily there today, it is just a matter of time.
3: 30 God willing, the same would happen in history that has happened for the thousands of years in the past. (ends at 3:32). 

Wednesday 15 January 2014

Redbridge Easter Parade to return in 2014 - Council give provisional approval after first submission!

Images courtesy of Ilford Recorder.

Redbridge held its first Easter Parade ever last year, after a collaboration between eight local churches and the British Pakistani Christian Association. The event was triggered by Chairman of the BPCA Wilson Chowdhry who relished memories of a string of summer Makeway March events, that took place during the 90's.

hundred of visitors attended the event in 2013, despite the town centre being on shut-down for the holiday, and featured in Ilford's prominent newspaper the Recorder.  The BPCA has been asked to event manage the event again this year, and their submission has already attained provisional acceptance, an occurrence that is rare for events in the very safety conscience borough of Redbridge.

Some of the most memorable features of last years event was the participation form children, who came in bright colours waving ribbons.  Moreover stalls and a worship event introduced Christian performance arts to a wider captivated audience.

This year the event will include a Children's Funfair and will be held on one of Britain's most busy shopping days - Easter Monday.  We expect a much larger attendance due the shopping holiday, moreover  the event will not clash with church services and will be held over a much longer period from 12:00 - 18:00.  We are seeking stallholders, performers and new recruits to the management committee, so please do make contact using the details below:

Telephone Wilson Chowdhry on 020 8514 0861 or email

Performers and committee members must be practising Christians.

Wilson Chowdhry said;

" We are extremely pleased with the outcomes from last years event, which included the galvanising of local churches, and bringing Christianity into the local community - proving its contemporary relevance.  Moreover, the fact that council officers have agreed to allow a Children's funfair that has been denied to all groups for over 10 years, illustrates that we are a professional community outfit."

Friday 10 January 2014

Blasphemers' must die!' -regressive Pakistan hardens Sharia law

Things have gotten yet worse in Pakistan with the recent decision that blasphemy against Muhammed MUST be punished with death, removing the penalty of life imprisonment.   The Federal Sharia Court - the religious court that examines whether the law of Pakistan complies with Islamic sharia law brought in the change last month.  In one sense, this won't make much change, even if it is approved by parliament and exectuive government, as judges tend to hand down death sentences anyway, but  whether it is enforced or not, it will further encourage Islamic extremists to attack those they think are blasphemers (as if they needed any more encouragement)!


Pakistan worse than Iran for Christians - 600 % increase in martyrdoms in 2013

Open Doors, a prominent Christian NGO that supports the persecuted church, has released it's latest annual ranking of the worst 50 states for persecuting Christians.  As ever, North Korea tops the list, and as ever, the rest of the top 10 are Muslim nations.  Pakistan this year rose from number 14 to number 8, ranked as just worse than the theocratic state of Iran!.  The group also documented the number of demonstrable martyrdoms of Christians, which they say in 2013 nearly doubled from 2012 - from just over 1000, to just over 2000.  Over half of these occurred in Syria.  However, it should be noted that these are very conservative figures - and that most estimates are much higher, with one expert estimating that a Christian is martyred every 5 minutes - so about 105,000 a year.  The reports figures for martyrdoms in Pakistan indicate an increase of nearly 600%, as a result of the Peshawar church suicide bomb attack, rising from 15 in 2012 to 88 in 2013.

Background note on martyrdom : It is often stated that martyrdom is more common now than at any time in church history.   This is true in terms of absolute numbers, but it is manifestly not true in terms of the proportion of Christians being killed, which is far smaller than it has been in the past.  For more information.

Muslim thug pistol whips Christian and three nephews for refusing to convert

Another case from the aftermath of the Peshawar bombing, which saw a swathe of blasphemy accusations in it's wake, alongside considerable solidarity from some parts of the Muslim community.   In Islamabad a Boota Masih, described as a 43 year old 'low level government worker' (most likely meaning a cleaner or sweeper) was discussing terrorist attacks including the Peshawar church suicide bombing with his three teenage nephews and some Muslim neighbours when a man called Nadeem, known locally as a ruffian pulled up with accomplices on motorbikes.  They joined in the conversation, but then Nadeem started to repeat the usual Islamic claim that Christians had corrupted the bible over the years and that Christianity was 'a distortion of facts'.  He then demanded they convert to Islam, saying 'Islam is the only true faith, and you must join us to fulfill Allah’s will. The West and Zionists are hatching conspiracies against Islam because they are scared of its rise and popularity in their countries … They know one day Allah will give the whole world in our control and every person will become a Muslim'.  Boota said he wasn't interested in discussing religion, and that Nadeem should stop criticizing Christianity unnecessarily, and the Muslims around about also told Nadeem to leave the Christians alone, but he refused to leave and started to threaten, saying that they would ensure that all Christians ‘seek forgiveness’ and ‘embrace Islam,’ or else they would have to face the ‘consequences'.  Despite warnings, Nadeem remained and started, with two accomplices, to beat, punch and kick Masih and his nephews, as well as beating them with the butts of their guns, which they also waved in the air to stop others intervening.
The day after Nadeem and company attacked their home while the family were out shopping, leaving bullet holes in the walls and door.  The police arrested the three culprits, revealing that Nadeem was a drug addict.  They have been charged under 'forcible conversion laws'.  When Nadeem's parents arrived at the court hearing, he verbally attacked them, saying not to worry because now he had devoted himself to Islam.  It transpired that Nadeem had started picking fights with lots of Christian families, but this was the first time anyone had reported him to the police.


Rival murders Christian businessman, extremists threaten family with death if don't convert

In September last year, in Karachi, a Christian goldsmith was murdered by a jealous Muslim rival, after the Muslim accused him of blasphemy.  Muhammad Asif slit Boota Masih's throat and then repeatedly stabbed him in broad daylight in front of police and other workers who did nothing to stop the attack or apprehend the murderer.  Initially, the police refused to register a case and start to investigate , but did so after pressure from the family and other Christians.  However, a month later, a group of armed men broke into the grieving families home and threatened to kill them if they did not withdraw the murder complaint and convert to Islam.  While the actual murderer was - at last report - still on the loose, the police did act promptly and arrested three for the house-breaking and death threats.


Another three year old Christian girl raped

Rape of women and young girls is unfortunately increasingly very common in Pakistan, and often Christian women are an especial target.  Most go unreported to the police.  We have reported on just a few of these cases, and a few months ago five year old Sumbal was snatched and raped off a city street.  It is not clear whether the girl was a Christian, although Christian activists have been among those protesting over the case.  A year before we reported on a 9 year old Christian girl gang raped by three Muslim boys.  Sometimes boys are sodomized too, including several years ago a rogue police unit or officer who raped and murdered teenage boys.  Recently a thirteen year old Muslim girl was raped and buried alive, but managed to escape (and typically - the police did not side with the victims family.  A few months ago, a four year old Muslim girl was raped by a Muslim cleric on her first day at religious school.   One case that has been widely reported, partly because of a moving video as part of a documentary was the brutal rape a number of years ago of two year old Neha because her father refused to convert to Islam.  Eventually the family fled to Canada.

Now, yet another case has come to light where a Muslim man who regularly tried to induce or force sex on Christian women at his workplace (the home of a senior railway official) and went on to rape or attempt to rape two sisters, aged 1 and 3.  The victims family claim that he was able to get away with it by implicit blackmail because he knew that his employer brought women back to the house when his wife was absent.  In late October, Sumbal, one of the Christian maids, was asked by the perpetrator Allah Baksh to clean the communal courtyard.  She refused, as she had to look after her two young daughters and said she would do it when her husband returned.  Allah Baksh forced her to do it, or else he would complain to their boss.  After cleaning the yard, she returned to find her 1 year old daughter gagged and tied to the bed, with Allah Baksh with his trousers down and trying to rape the three year old girl.  When  the mother, Sumbal, started shouting, he slapped her and said he would kill her and the girls if she told anyone of the attack.  He eventually fled, and the hospital examinations revealed attempted rape on both the girls, and nail and bite marks on their face and neck.  Although  the rapist has been arrested, we do not know if justice will be done (perpetrators often get away with it and are released despite overwhelming evidence).  In this case, the police are pressuring the parents of the girls for 'compromise' - a common tactic.  Meanwhile, the employer has sided with the rapist and fired the victims family and made them homeless.