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.
On Wednesday 6th October, Royal Thai police arrested 26 Pakistani Christian asylum seekers, including children, from an area called Pracha Songkhro 28 in Bangkok. The terrified families were arrested very late at night from a condo called Phasuk mansion, taken to Huai Khwang police station and from there will eventually be transferred to the Immigration Detention Centre (IDC). Due to an extremely slow processing time none of these suffering families have ever been assessed for asylum determination by the UNHCR, and in fact many of them have assessment interviews scheduled for up to two years from now, a dismaying and unacceptable delay which has left them extremely vulnerable.
Our officer in Thailand, Christian Malik, called Pastor Joshua who was amongst the victims. He described the desperate conditions they are facing inside the IDC:
"We have been in the police station since yesterday evening and we have not yet eaten any food. The younger children have been sobbing for milk and we have no provisions, this is an alarming situation. We are all having to cope with the trauma of being locked up despite not believing we are criminals".
Pastor Joshua spoke of their hope in God and their undying belief that God will help them. He said :
"We continue worshipping and praying, it gives us confidence and enables us to bear witness among the non-believers. We hope to rescue and baptise the lost souls inside the IDC."
Christian contacted legal aid representatives at Asylum Access, an NGO working in Thailand, to see how we could help. They explained that the system was slow and and rigid:
“The immigration police undertake sweeps in asylum communities across Bangkok during the first 10 days of every month. There is no mechanism in place to rescue these victims they simply have to go through the legal process".
Christian Malik described the situation faced by arrested victims. He said:
"Children have been locked up along with their parents and appallingly there is no provision of milk for babies and scarce food provision. It is completely inhumane. Families have been taken from their makeshift homes leaving doors wide open, which inevitably results in the loss of all their savings and belongings. Living in cramped cells is demoralising, and after even a short time of being packed in with so many other detainees contagious disease is rampant".
We are so thankful to God that working with the Jubilee Campaign; Voice of the Persecuted; TrotB Ministries, Farrukh Saif Foundation and Papa Thongchai of Urdu Church in the Hands of God; we all have been able to raise the necessary funds to pay the overstay court fines for 12 of the asylum seekers.
A few of those detained declined help, deciding instead to take a risk and endure Central Jail with the hopes of somehow raising the necessary funds to
bribe Thai police into releasing them, thus avoiding detainment in the IDC and needing to raise funds for bail. Paying the overstay fine prevents a
person going to Central Jail but bail still needs to be paid at a later date to avoid further detention in the IDC.
The costs of paying the fines would have been a huge burden on any of our charities individually, but by breaking convention and proving charities can
work together, we have successfully helped the traumatised victims.
Lois Kanalos of Voice of the Persecuted said:
"Praise God! He achieved the impossible again, leaving no doubt who is behind us."
Paying this fine prevents these families from being moved for 35 days to the horrific Central Jail where they would be placed in the general prison population amongst rapists and murderers. The men are restrained naked in shackles, their heads shaved, and women are made to remove their underwear and jump up and down to show they have nothing concealed while men ogle. Mothers are separated from their children, and incredulously even from their babies who are then neglected and not provided any milk or nappies. From Central Jail the detainees would again be moved to the deplorable IDC where 'food' consists of cucumber in hot water.
We know that our supporters will agree that this would be a horrendous fate to befall anyone, and being able to prevent it for these families is exhilarating for us at the BPCA, and we would love to be able to do much more. To free each individual from IDC we need to raise a further £1000 for each of them for their bail fees, which will entitle them to a two year protection from re-arrest.
If you can help us towards this payment for their freedom please use the payment details below the following pictures.
Tears: frightened children detained with their families
Pastor Joshua is amongst those detained
Please consider giving to our work for the innocent. Donations can be sent using these bank details:
Sort Code: 20-44-22
Account number: 43163318
Ref: Love for Pak-Christians in Thailand
For international donations please use these details:
IBAN: GB62 BARC 20442243163318
Alternatively you can use the PayPal facility on the top right hand corner of our blog, our PayPal email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cheques should be made payable to the BPCA to our address: 57 Green Lane, Ilford, Essex, IG1 1XG.
BRITISH PAKISTANI CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION is a trading name for BRITISH PAKISTANI CHRISTIANS LTD which is a charity entered onto the Register of Charities with the Registered Charity Number 1163363
With your support we hope to change the lives of millions of Pakistani Christians.