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Monday 28 April 2014

Christian man beaten for taking two extra days off from his employment!

Story provided by Mushtaq Gill.

Kasur:On 23 April,2014,a poor Christian,Saleem Masih,was severely beaten and tortured by his Muslim Landlord.The complaint has been submitted in Saddar Police Station,Kasur. A medical report has been received from District Headquarters Hospital, Kasur prompted by a legal procedure and now and FIR will be lodged against the culprit.  In an FIR is not lodged by Saddar Police, then Advocate Mushtaq Gill will be serving a petition to the Court of Session Judge, Kasur, calling for registration of an FIR against the culprit.

Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.

Saleem has been working for his Muslim employer Muhammad Abbas for five years. Mr Abbas's father is tribal leader for the local Village Bagree in Kasur. 

Saleem took a holiday for Easter day and returned back to work after enjoying two additional days.  His employer was outraged that two additional days holiday had been taken and became furious.  Mr Abbas had Saleem beaten severely.  Saleem was extremely fortunate that other villagers saw him getting beaten.  They intervened and took Saleem to safety, otherwise he could have been beaten to death.

This type of physical torture is commonplace in the Brick Kiln and filed labouring industries.  Often it is Christians that serve such roles as they have become a social underclass in Pakistan.  Many of the workers are indebted to their master due to historic debt under what is being termed bonded labour.  

“Laws to protect workers already exist, but their implementation is weak,” Gill said. “The government is working on strengthening implementation so workers’ problems and poverty can be reduced.”

Wilson Chowdhry chair of the BPCA said;

"Many employees in these industries are paid under the prescribed minimum wage and do not have any formal contract of employment.  If employees try to break away from their bondage, they are beaten, killed, harassed or implicated in fake blasphemy charges by their unscrupulous employers."  He added;

"Pakistani Authorities must do more to protect these vulnerable communities, every effort should be made to free them from their modern day slavery."

Saturday 26 April 2014

Easter day rape of 7 year old Pakistani Christian girl!

Here is a report of another Christian girl that was raped in Pakistan.  The report was received from Advocate Mushtaq Gill and is copied in verbatim:

Victim Saira recovers at Alama Iqbal Civil Hospital

Sialkot: On Easter Day, Saira,a Christian girl (7 yrs), was raped by one Muslim man Mohammad Fakhar Alam alias Phool in village Mahly Ki Tehsil Daska District, Sialkot.

The little girl was not hospitalized for three days despite severe bleeding .Two Muslim Landlords Mr. Ahmad Yar Nagra and Mr.Zulifqar Nagra pressurized her family not to file a complaint against the rapist.

On 22 April the FIR NO.152/2014 under sections 201,376 PPC was registered against the rapist and two other violent perpetrators. The report was made to Daska police despite the threats from the guilty parties.  On the direction of DPO in Sialkot, the rapist was arrested and one of the other co-accused villains were put on pre-arrest bail.  A third co-accused under the FIR was later declared innocent by the police investigators. Police have informed the victim's family that a medical examination has confirmed a rape took place on the underage girl.  They have also informed the family that the accused rapist Fakhar has confessed his part in the attack.

Saira is still hospitalised at Alama Iqbal Civil hospital and is currently assessed as being in critical condition.  Sialkot.Advocate Sardar Mushtaq Gill,a Human Rights Defender and Chief of LEAD has demanded justice for the victim and her family.

Mr.Gill was informed of the incident by Advocate Ch.Tariq Seraj.  Mr.Gill has spoken with the girl's mother,Nasreen Bibi,and assured her that LEAD will stand with them and fight for justice.

Mr.Gill, a Human Rights Defender who is involved in the protection of religious minority rights, strongly condemns the sexual assault of a minor girl of only seven years.  He is frightened by the sheer and increasing volume of Christian girls being kidnapped and raped, by Muslim men.

In December , 2012 A 6 years old Hindu girl Wijenti Meghwar, student of class 1 who was raped in Ghulam Nabi Shah town while playing in street.

Last year 2013 January in Kasur District ,a Christian girl named, Fouzia Bibi, aged 15 years, was raped by two landlord and in July 2013 a Christian minor girl student of Class 7th in Village Doctor Wala, Vehari was also raped by one Muslim boy under the supervision of two armed men. 

Wilson Chowdhry Chair of the BPCA, raised his concerns about this recent attack.  He said;

"The BPCA has already reported that the rate of girls being kidnapped, raped and forced into Islamic marriage is at least two a week.  These newer reports are increasing in frequency and highlight the vulnerability of minority girls. Moreover many incidents continue to go unreported."  

"He added;

"Innocent Saira was only seven years old and will be emotionally and physically scarred for life.  Her parents must be devastated by this awful news, but any hope for justice will be slight in a country where deviants can enact their pernicious desires with impunity.  I am afraid that incidents of this nature will continue to grow in intensity and frequency until the Government of Pakistan more actively espouses the rule of law."

Tuesday 22 April 2014

Video footage from the Redbridge Easter Parade 2014

Hannah Chowdhry (10yrs), Tanisha (8Yrs) and Tattiana Ngeze (10Yrs) dancing to "How Great is our God."  Singing and music by the awesome Likewise Church based in Ilford.

Images from Redbridge Easter Parade 2014

BPCA managed the Redbridge Easter Parade which had an attendance of over 7000 visitors.

The BPCA organised and event managed the Redbridge Easter Parade and Festival for a second year.  The event was a real success with participation from over 10 churches and Christian Groups.  The headline act was Christian band "Hal and Cherrie" otherwise known as "Ooberfuse" when making secular music which tackles social concerns. We were also blessed this year with performances by African Childrens Choir who danced and sang beautifully drawing in huge crowds to Ilford Town Centre.

Other music was prepared by the Seventh Day Adventist Church, Eden Christian Centre, Likewise Church, Liberty Christian Connection and Ilford Tamil Church all of whom provided the stewards for the event and were very involved with the planning of the parade and festival.  Other partners included Ilford Methodist Church, Cranbrook Baptist Church,  and Ilford Asian Congregation.  Special thanks must also be given to our final St Andrews church who chose Elaine Hobbs to be their representative for the event.  Elaine became the groups administrator and kept things together remarkably.

Disappointingly we still have not had our first Pakistani Christian performer at the event, despite two years of trying. However, we are hoping that with Ilford Asian Congregation's support this situation will change going forward. 

The event was the first event in the borough ever to be allowede a funfair in the town centre.  And approval for the event was granted on first application - a rarity in Redbridge.  Organisers hope the event will expand and develop to become a focus point in London, for celebrating Christ's great sacrifice and the new hope that was created as a consequence.

Wilson Chowdhry Chairmn of the BPCA said;  "The period from the beginning of Lent to Easter is very significant in the Christian calendar.  It is not by chance that Christians refer to the final period of Easter as Holy week. Our  parade and festival has fulfilled it's aims to galvanise Christian unity and promote the true message of Easter in Redbridge.  Now we must improve the outreach potential and must rach out to other parts of London to ensure that this event meets its maximum potential."

Weather forecasts for the day predicted rainfall throughout the event.  Organiser's felt that God's hands were at work however, as no rain touched the event area until 7pm, by which time the deconstruction was virtually complete.  

Pastor Bryon Jones, Chairman for the organising committee informed us that three people said the sinners prayer and gave their life to God.  It is hoped the event will have a stronger outreach potential next year. 

See Ilford Recorder article (click here)     

Kensons Contractors provided signs and cones to assist with road closures.  This was much appreciated.

The procession came into the town centre for a second station of the cross.  Here a prayer was said by Father Ackroyd of the Vine United Reform Church and leader of the Ilford Town Chuches Group.

The procession had in excess of 250 participants before entering the own centre.

Mayor of Redbridge Cllr Felicity Banks gave an opening address.

A special Easter message from this borough figurehead was met well.  Cllr Felicity VBanks is herself a Christian.

Wilson Chowdhry asked visitors to prepare for an Easter hat competition.

Pastor Jon Law (Cranbrook Baptist Church) and Pastor Charles (Likewise Church) joined him at the front.

People with Easter hats emerged form the procession and came to the front.

Seventh Day Adventist Church Pathfinders group led the procession with their marching band.

African Childrens Choir sang during the procession.

The Mayor asked visitors to shout so she could assess the winner by loudest cheer.

The winner was Hannah Chowdhry with the orange hat.

Pastor Jon Law prayed at Ilford High Road Baptist Church.  Our final staion of the cross.

A reflective prayer was said for the borough.

Those that were left in the procession had a photoshoot at Ilford High Road Baptist Church.

The pictures were colourful and showed that many young people can take the church forward.

10 churches at least were represented.

Young people were bolstered by knowledge that so many Christians reside in Redbridge - their borough.

Children from different churches integrated well.

Smiling faces illustrated the joy the Easter brings.

The procession returned to the centre of town.

Stewards were thanked and an opening prayer was said by Cathloic Priest Father Chris.

Father Chris had been visiting Redbridge on an errand.  He joined the procession and stayed at the event all day.  We have posted his response in the comments box at the end of this posting.  He brought much joy and became the first Catholic leader to join our event.

Hal and Cherrie a Catholic Band performed worship songs for visitors to the event.

The Seventh Day adventists brought much colour to the event, with their flags and uniforms.

Cherrie drew in many people with her singing.

Redbridge Towh Hall steps made a great stage for our event.

Tanisha Ngeze, Hannah Chowdhry and Tattiana Ngeze performed a dance thay had been practising throughout Easter.

The dancing backed by the wonderful Cherrie and Hal, drew the biggest crowd of the day.

People thronged to the town centre activities put together by town centre churches.

The dancers helped visualize the words of the popular Christian song "How Great is Our God" 

Hundreds watched the performances.  Thousands filled the event area.

The crowd were peaceful and participative.

All day long different activities kep people at the event and drew on the rure message of Easter.  Which is new life, peace and hope.

Visitors were impressed with the largest celebration of Easter ever in our borough.

Others joined in the dancing as Hal and Cherrie sang a few more numbers.

This was an Easter filled with passion for the love shown by Christ.

Great joy filled the streets.

Organisers were pleased with the attendance and the outreach.  Reports of three people who said the sinners prayer illustrate how event like this can be productive.

MEP Jean Lambert was present at a non political environmental stall, run by the local Green Party.

Liberty Christian Connection (Redeemed Church) performed some worhip songs.

The dancers were at it again.

A free Compost bin was up for grabs in a competition.  

Nathanael Lewis BPCA Lead researcher shared poetry and songs that he had composed.

Father Chris closed the event with a prayer.

We have been praying for better participation from our Catholic brothers and his attendance was an answer to our prayers.