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.
Senator Eric Albetz, Wilson Chowdhry and Minister for Immigration MP Peter Dutton
The Australian Christian Lobby has joined the British Pakistani Christian Association in calling for the Australian Government to put diplomatic pressure on Pakistan to abolish its blasphemy laws.
The call comes on the eve of a Pakistani Supreme Court hearing this week into the 2010 death sentence of Asia Bibi for allegedly blaspheming the prophet Mohammad.
“Australia’s $47 million aid budget to Pakistan should be contingent upon the country providing religious freedom to religious minorities, including its 10 million Christians,” ACL Managing Director Lyle Shelton said.
“While Australians are used to Islamist terrorists killing people for allegedly blaspheming Mohammad, most would be surprised to know that the Pakistani Government has laws which condemn people to death for the same thing.
“The Australian Government should not be silent about the lack of religious freedom and the persecution of Christians in Pakistan,” Mr Shelton said.
“Asia Bibi has been languishing in prison for seven years as the appeal of her death sentence has wound its way through the Pakistani judicial system.
“That anyone could be sentenced to death for an alleged blasphemy in a supposedly moderate Islamic State would be a shock to most Australians.
“That we give aid to Pakistan and allow its sporting teams to compete here while it has a system of religious apartheid is doubly shocking,” Mr Shelton said.
British Pakistani Christian Association are calling for people of good conscience to sign their electronic petition. Please (click here)
A protest was held in Sydney on 8th October 2016 led by the BPCA.
Pakistan Christian post to day reported that 150 Imams have decreed that Asia Bibi and her supporters should be put to death (click here).
Mr Shelton met today with the chairman of the London based Bristish Pakistani Christian Association, Wilson Chowdhry, who is visiting Canberra lobbying MPs and Senators about the plight of persecuted Christians in Pakistan.
Mr Chowdhry is calling on the Australian Government to provide 100 places for persecuted Pakistani Christians in Australia’s annual humanitarian intake, an initiative which has the ACL’s support.
Mr Chowdhry, said:
"Christians persecuted in Pakistan are ignored. Reasons for this are the ally status Pakistan holds with Britain and America and intrinsic trade agreements with many western nations.
"Coupled with the fear that instability in Pakistan could allow militants nuclear power, countries in the west ignore the poor and worsening human rights in Pakistan.
"Today we have challenged Australian politicians to monitor more closely the aid they provide to Pakistan.
"We have called for at least 50% of all foreign aid to be earmarked towards the improvement of human rights for Minorities in Pakistan.
"We have also asked for aid budgets to be withdrawn if Pakistan fails to improve its poor human rights record.
"In our despair at the plight of thousands of Pakistani Christian asylum seekers and refugees we have discussed the potential for sanctuary in Australia. Officers from the Immigration and Border protection Department. They have shared several streams available to Pakistani Christians under Australian immigration programmes. I hope we can work with them to secure safety for a number of Pak-Christians.
Wilson Chowdhry met Senator Abetz, MP Andrew Hastie, Minister for Immigration MP Peter Dutton, Senator David Fawcett and MP Kevin Andrews who sits on the Human Rights Committee. He also visited the Pakistani Embassy where he submitted a letter and a petition.
Senator Eric Abetz, Wilson Chowdhry and Mr Shelton will be available for interview in the Senate Courtyard of Parliament House Canberra at 10am tomorrow (October 12).
MP Kevin Andrews, Wilson Chowdhry, Senator Eric Abetz
Wilson Chowdhry and Lyle Shelton
Wilson Chowdhry and MP Andrew Hastie.
Wilson Chowdhry presented a letter and petition to Pakistan High Commission in Australia