Our vision is to create a network of Pakistanis united in Christ, focused on better quality of life, fellowship and religious freedom for Christians in Pakistan and the UK.
Asylum is a controversial issue in the UK. A popular view is that migrants arrive looking for prosperity. That is a debate for another forum. The fact is that Pakistani Christians arrive on these shores because they face hardships, various forms of persecution – even death in their homeland. These men, women and children don't come here to take advantage of the British benefits system. They are hard working folk who have fled for their lives.
It is frustrating that UK Border Agencies have still not grasped that fact. The BPCA works hard to support Pakistani Christians through human rights advocacy and our work has opened doors for persecuted Pakistani Christians to find asylum in a number of countries. Some 16 Pakistani Christians have been helped to find asylum in the UK in the past five years thanks to the humanitarian work of the BPCA. Our persecution reports have been described as influential within the 'Right to stay' documents given to successful applicants. The reports have been produced through the meticulous efforts of Wilson Chowdhry and Professor Desmond Fernandes - a genocide expert. These successes undermine the refusal of the UK Border Agencies to accept as widespread the persecution of minority religious groups in Pakistan.
Nathaniel Lewis, Lead BPCA Researcher, has produced reports on this asylum issue which have been used by the Canadian Immigration and Asylum Board (CIAB) to define policies towards asylum seekers from Pakistan. The reports are listed as sources within the CIAB's current online policy and subsequent reforms of the previous policies have saved lives. Rimsha Masih, a high profile victim of Pakistan's blasphemy law, as an example, was allowed immediate asylum status upon application.
There are also political moves in the Netherlands to review official procedures for accepting Pakistani Christians seeking escape from danger. Dutch Parliamentarians have twice met with Professor Desmond Fernandes and Wilson Chowdhry to discuss options for giving assistance to Pakistani Christians. The outcome of those meetings has been fervent parliamentary debates, calling for a special status to be given to Pakistani Christians seeking asylum in the Netherlands. The BPCA continues to pursue this goal.