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UNITED and HUMBLE


Muslims Pleasing allah Lahore Pakistan

For the most part the majority of Christians residing in Pakistan are poverty stricken of hold jobs a Muslim would consider beneath their dignity. And yet there some well-to-do Christians in Pakistan. Unfortunately many of the better off Christians are in the pocket or under the thumb of the ruling Muslim elites of Pakistan. This creates a gap between the more numerous impoverished Christians and Christians under a better living environment. Shamim Masih writes about this social injustice which is perpetuated by the Islamic Supremacist minded Muslims of Pakistan.

 

Pakistan Population – Muslim and Christian

 

Total Population: 196,174,380 (July 2014 estimation – Theodora.com)

 

Sunni Percentage: 85-90% (Theodora.com) Doing the calculator at 90%: 176,556,942 Sunnis

 

Christian Population: 2.8 Million (NYT 3/24/15) Using the Theodora.com total population that is 1.4% of the total.

 

Keeping in mind the statistical proportions between Sunni Muslims and Christians, digest the gravity in these few paragraphs on win1040.com looking specifically at Pakistan:

 

This increased persecution has caused panic. Over 16,000 Christians have fled, seeking asylum in Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Thailand. In an attempt to end this mass exodus, authorities illegally removed more than 1000 Pakistani Christians from their flights in Islamabad, Karachi, and Lahore. Sri Lanka has detained them as refugees.

The nation of Pakistan has moved to number 8 on the 2014 Open Doors World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians in the world. Window International Network Partners pray for Pakistan on Day 28 in accordance with the Praying Through the Window 9: Global Terrorism and World Religions prayer calendar. (Christian Persecution in Pakistan Dramatically Escalates; win1040.com)

 

 

JRH 5/21/15

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UNITED and HUMBLE

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 5/20/2015 9:26 PM

 

ISLAMABAD: Everything rises and falls on leadership, said Pastor Henry Madava. Nelson Mandela, who led South Africa from apartheid to democracy, was a humble, persuasive and inspirational figure who advocated peace, democracy and human rights. He said, “Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice for the freedom of their people.” After years of being accused of surrounding himself with Old Etonians, David Cameron moved to shed his image for being out of touch with a “Blue Collar” reshuffle. The Prime Minister promoted a slate of school-educated ministers to key roles as he unveiled his first Conservative-only government. Son of a Pakistani bus driver and daughter of a Ugandan shopkeeper who fled Idi Amin are two big winners in Blue Collar reshuffles. There was also promotion for comprehensive schoolboy Greg Clark, who becomes Communities Secretary, while campaigning backbencher Robert Halfon becomes Conservative party deputy chairman.  Cameron moves to promote ministers from non-privileged backgrounds.

 

Since my childhood, I dreamed of the day to have a contented and prosperous life, but today, my dream didn’t turn the way I imagined it, but there is nothing I can do about it. This is how Pakistani Christian communities’ lives look today, and we have to adopt. Christians represent just a sliver of the population of Pakistan. Major portions of the Christians population settled in the outskirts of the cities with dirt roads and cement-block homes. Most face daily discrimination and eke out a living by holding low-paying jobs, like street sweeping. However, they’ve carved out their own lives in the country that faces near-daily attacks by the extremists. Under Pakistan’s harsh blasphemy laws, anyone can be convicted of insulting Islam or the Prophet Muhammad. Muslims often take the law into their own hands, killing those suspected of blasphemy and attacking neighborhoods. Yet despite these worries, life goes on for Christians here. But I wish to attract your attention to very serious problem and I hope you will take some positive steps. The problem is non-visionary Christian leadership in Pakistan.

 

Pakistani Christian Politicians: When I was school boy, I saw Julius Salik [Wikipedia & WMA], who had enjoyed the protocol sitting in the flag staff car but has done nothing [Pakistan Christian Post] for the betterment of Christians. He was the only candidate, who received the highest number of votes during the general election [toward the] end [of the] eighties and had enjoyed during Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’ regime. Then we have seen many names sitting in federal and provisional assembly. During the care taker government Col. (R) Tressler [Pakistan Christian Post] had enjoyed many times during care taker tenure but instead of doing anything good for majority Christians he had tried his best to damage the Christian cause. Many unnecessary and unlawful favors were given to his family members during his tenure. During the most recent tenure, Shahbaz Bhatti was selected by the PPP government as Federal Minister for minorities. He was assassinated [Dawn] by the extremist group for being outspoken against blasphemy law. But practically neither he has taken any solid step nor done anything for community. I am not commenting on his life style he led but there is question mark as well. Nothing [was] solid work for [the Christian] community left behind his death. Rather after his death his successor wasted the offer to establish educational institution for Christians in the country. Since president Musharaf introduced the selection system on minority reserved seats in the parliament house, Christian selected members have become a rubber stamp that create fake arguments for the betterment of the community, while in the secrecy of the corridors of power they tow the line of the ruling elite.  Now we have Christian political leadership sitting in or outside the government with no vision, no commitment, and no inspirational figure is seen in this arena. The irony is that the Christian leadership has become a lame duck and is doing nothing to serve their community.

 

Christian Missionaries in Pakistan: Recently I read news that a Sikh removes turban to help injured child, showed true meaning of the religion. The turban is an integral part of Sikhism and is worn by many Sikhs as a symbol of love and dedication to the faith, the Sikh Coalition notes. Sikhs ties their turbans each day a commitment to the religion. Those who choose to wear turbans do not remove them in public. On the other hand, Pakistani Christians are facing many problems and suffering but our clergy never bothered to think the solutions of it, instead they are involved immoral activities. I am eye witness that during the twin churches attack in Youhanabad, father Francis Gulzar was laughing while entering in the graveyard during the funeral ceremony of the martyrs’.  Poverty is a big problem in our country, many of them have no money or not enough money to get food, clothes and get education for their children. There are many educational institutions that are run or managed by Christian missionaries. But unfortunately our religious leadership is least interested to educate the Christian children. Instead they are engage in selling church properties and earning money in the name of God. Many church leaders and their families are not religious or not leading life according to the teaching of Christ but they teach Christianity. Former Bishop of Lahore, Alexander John Malik [Pakistan Christian Post] and Bishop of Karachi, Sadiq Daniel [Express Tribune, Pakistan Christian Poster: HERE & HERE] has been involved in illegal activities and thus defaming Christian norms. Christian institutions run by Roman Catholic and Church of Pakistan are not taking Christian students for they cant pay high fees. Christian politicians sitting in the government and clergy in Lahore has reportedly played reprehensible role in Youhanabad incident. These are the same ones who have done nothing when Joseph Colony and Gojra incident accrued.

 

Removing barriers to success like discrimination and divisions is a necessity for success. There are many young ones dreaming of the day to have a contented and prosperous life like me. People in leadership role can help them seek out and capitalize on more opportunities, find solutions to challenges before problems and create a happier, healthier, more productive life. There is urgent need to establish equality, social justice and peace. In reference to the ongoing persecution and discrimination [of thee] suffering Christian, it is duty of the leadership to take a stand to save the rights of the community to prove themselves the real leaders, “Humble and United”.

 

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

 

MOFA, Diplomatic Correspondent, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, UN, F & S, MOST, PTI, Daily Sama Islamabad & Human Rights Activist.

 

For Americans especially, I have discovered the best way to donate to Shamim Masih is via Western Union sending money with this LINK to a Western Union agent in Islamabad. Include Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

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 Edited by John R. Houk

Any text or links that are enclosed by brackets are by the Editor. Links not enclosed by brackets are by the author Shamim Masih.

 

© Shamim Masih 

Equal Rights or Might is Right?


Christians surrounding Lahore (including Youhanabad)

 

Intro to ‘Equal Rights or Might is Right?’

Intro by John R. Houk

5/5/15

Post by Shamim Masih

Sent: 5/2/2015 12:56 PM

 

Pakistan’s religious minorities are a persecuted lot in the Sunni majority nation. All those minorities receive a large dose of violence and horrors from Sunni Muslims. As a Christian myself I find it particularly horrific the kind of treatment Pakistani Christians receive. Examples range from kidnapping females for forced matrimony, forced conversions, rape, physical assaults due to false accusations of committing blasphemy against Islam (which could be something as simple as burning a single page of the Quran) to settle disputes or to steal Christian property AND downright just horrible violence of graphic forms of murder. In contrast if a Muslim denigrates Christ or Christianity there has been ZERO enforcement of the rule of law against Muslim perpetrators. Muslim mobs will rampage on a Christian community burning homes, Churches, Bibles and murder sprees. Legal consequences against Muslim victimizers are rare. If the Christian community is lucky maybe one or two scapegoats get a slap on the wrist and a probable suspended sentence.

 

In researching the latest Shamim Masih submission for posting I found an article exposing the marginalizing of Pakistani Christians in the NY Times of all places. Here is an excerpt:

 

… According to one estimate, in the last two years there have been 36 targeted attacks on Pakistani Christians, 265 Christian deaths from suicide bombings and 21 “persecutions” of Christians under Pakistan’s blasphemy law. To their credit, several TV anchors ran heart-rending montages of recent incidents in which Muslim mobs or terrorists had shot, bombed or burned Pakistani Christians.

 

But by last Tuesday the conversation had changed, after it was established that the two men lynched by the Christian mob were blameless Muslims who happened to be near the churches when the explosions took place. (Police officers had apprehended the men on suspicion of abetting the bombers, but quickly gave them up to the rioters.) The news of their innocence gave the debates a kind of retributive equilibrium, allowing Muslim politicians to spar with Christian leaders about the other community’s excesses before rolling out their convenient conclusions: All of Pakistan was under threat from Islamist terrorists, even if religious minorities were especially vulnerable; the attack on the Christians was no different from attacks on Shiites and Ahmadis, two sects that have also been targeted by hard-line Sunni groups.

 

The message — that the bombing of two churches was no big deal in this war-torn country — was not lost on anyone.

 

But Pakistani Christians have a strong claim to being the country’s most anciently marginalized group, their predicament made all the more intractable by the silence that surrounds it.

 

This silence is not just about religion; it is also about caste. Most of Pakistan’s 2.8 million Christians are descended from low-caste tribes converted by Anglican and Catholic missionaries during the period of British rule. Dwelling mainly in Punjab Province, these tribes were associated with menial occupations such as sweeping and carcass collection, and had for centuries borne the corresponding stigmas of ritual pollution and “untouchability.” By converting to Christianity — so the missionaries claimed — these long-oppressed peoples were embracing a life of salvation and dignity. …

 

 

What we have, then, is the peculiar despair of a people who are unable to articulate their real grievance, a people who have no political parties or voting blocs of their own, who have only churches and pastors and the eternal motifs of suffering and deliverance to see them through this dark period.

 

To live in present-day Pakistan is to know all this in one’s bones. It is to recognize a welter of prejudices related to the word “Christian,” with its caste associations of waste and blood and a rarely acknowledged but ingrained sense of primordial difference. …

 

Last week’s riots, which were instigated by a religious attack, brought a long-oppressed community’s fury to the fore. … READ ENTIRETY! (Pakistani Christians Fight Back; By ALI SETHI; NY Times; 3/24/15)

 

Shamim Masih brings an onsite Pakistani Christian perspective about the injustice that finally erupted into a rare Christian reprisal against Islamic terrorism in the murder of two Muslims not involved in the homicidal-suicide bomb attack on two separate Churches in the Youhanabad area of Punjab Pakistan. Shamim focuses on how the local authorities have rounded up Christian leaders such as the Human Rights activist Joseph Francis to blame for the murders of the two Muslims AND YET there have NEVER been any arrest of any Sunni leaders in relations to a decades long occurrence of heinous Christian Persecution.

 

Joseph Francis- MBE Award from Queen Elizabeth II 2014

 

Joseph Francis thanked Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for the dignity and rank of honorary member as well as nominated him for the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) award 2014

 

 

JRH 5/5/15

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Equal Rights or Might is Right?

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 5/2/2015 12:56 PM

 

ISLAMABAD: Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Interior Minister said, if religious beliefs of others are not given respect then it will only promote terrorism. People of Paris should have protested against the cartoons the same way they protested against the attack on Charlie Hebdo, he added. Showing disrespect, being insensitive and ridiculing any religion or faith certainly cannot be termed as freedom of speech which may invite different reactions leading to what happened in France. However, Pakistani Interior Minister cannot preach to others as not only its [Pakistan Muslim] own education curriculum contains a hatred element for other religions which needs to be addressed. First as the same [Charlie Hebdo violence] has resulted in violence against minority communities and treating them as second CLAAS citizens as well. Mr. Nisar should first establish [his religious respect opinion as a] norm in Pakistan and then preach for others. For peaceful coexistence and harmony in this country, all should respect the other religions and avoid doing anything that hurts or insults other people. Disrespecting others’ religion is not ‘freedom of speech’. We know how other religions are being disrespected through school education, law and in society in Pakistan, is not this hypocrisy?

 

According to the media reports, most recently, the Punjab Govt. planned to implicate Joseph Francis, a [human] rights activist in the Youhanabad case. Earlier many Christians from Youhanabad were booked for the lynching of two Muslims after a deadly suicide bomb attack on two Churches which killed more than 20 Christians and many were injured. According to CLAAS, many are still missing and police did not produce them in the courts. CLAAS had filed a writ petition no. 8344/15 in the Lahore High Court (LHC) in which police did not produce the detainee Parviaz [or Pervaiz] John, Yousaf Kamran and his son Shaleem Yousaf. The learned judge LHC disposed of the writ petition with the direction to file a petition under section 22 A & 22 B for the registration of FIR before the Sessions Judge, Lahore with the power of Justice and Peace against the concerned SHO, DSP and SSP investigation. After the judgment from the learned court, according to the media reports, Punjab Government announced [it would] arrest Mr. Francis for blaming Sharif family [as] responsible for the Youhanabad incident and ordered to take action against Christians’ NGOs in Youhanabad and around the vicinity. Punjab govt. also blamed that Mr. Francis instigate the mass to violate which resulted road blockage and ransacking of Metro bus railings.

 

According to Joseph Francis, he was admitted in the hospital during this period and secondly, Pakistani are witnessed to many such types of protests which not only resulted ransacking but in August 2014, we have seen that Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf PTI and PAT – remained sitting on the red zone area but also attacked the Parliament house and PTV buildings. Mr. Nisar and CM Punjab, can you tell me, have you ever announced to arrest Imran Khan and Tahir ul Qadri? I am not supporting people to violate the law but [do] want the equality and the rule of law to be same. After the assassination of the late Benazir Bhutto, protesters not only destroyed public properties but also looted ATM machines in many cities of the country. How many of them were detained and punished?

 

In Gojra, Shanti Nager, Mardan, Joseph Colony many churches were burnt and how many of them were punished so far? Mr. Nisar, learn to give respect to [minority] religions and punish those who burnt the Christian couple alive in Kot Radha Kishan, and 8 family members including children in Gojra. Aslam Parvaiz Sohtra and Sohail Johnson are being targeted for being outspoken for the rights of community they belong to. The daughter of Aslam Parvez Sohtra said her father was patient and authorities didn’t allow the family to see him. It is just simply planted and Punjab govt. is doing it to curb the voice of Christians. This is very unfortunate that some Christian politicians are behind it, certainly they will meet their ends.

     

The latest US Commission on International Religious Freedom report also noted that Pakistan represents one of the worst situations in the world for religious freedom”. The report on Pakistan said that the country continued to experience chronic sectarian violence targeting Shias, Christians, Ahmadis, and Hindus. Despite positive rulings by the Supreme Court, the government failed to provide adequate protection to targeted groups or to prosecute perpetrators and those calling for violence. The foundation of Pakistan was laid on the principles of peace, tolerance and religious freedom. But this is unfortunate that after 68 years of independence, women lack and minorities lack equality, religious dissenters are persecuted our political freedoms are curtailed. How can we think of becoming a great nation without giving freedom? Human rights defenders and journalists are staunched. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) report for 2014 [See Also HERE] expectedly paints a grim picture of the state of human rights in Pakistan. Some of the highlights the report quotes are shocking. The number of people killed in terrorist attacks in 2014 was 1723 while 3143 were injured. Many of these were targeted 210 people lost their lives in sectarian attacks, 12 doctors, 13 lawyers and 45 members of polio vaccination teams fall victim to the killers’ bullets. The report speaks not just of the conditions of insecurity of human life we live under, it also notes that people’s freedoms, thought, association, religious beliefs or conscience have been under attack.

 

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

 

Diplomatic Correspondent, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, UN, F & S, MOST, CADD & Human Rights Activist

 

For Americans especially, I have discovered the best way to donate to Shamim Masih is via Western Union sending money with this LINK to a Western Union agent in Islamabad. Include Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

 

_____________________________

Edited by John R. Houk

All links within Shamim’s report are by the Editor for source context and all text enclosed by brackets are by the Editor.

 

© Shamim Masih

Obama Deserting Pastor Abedini to Iran Prison


Pastor Saeed Abedini & Kids

John R. Houk

© May 2, 2015

 

How does a President go all out to release someone imprisoned by America’s enemies? Hmm … Well President Barack Hussein Obama looks for a military deserter who treasonously collaborated with Taliban Muslim terrorists to attack U.S. military soldiers, then secures the deserter’s release in exchange for five Muslim terrorist war criminals incarcerated at Gitmo. If that wasn’t bad enough, America’s good President announces the imminent trade glorifies Bowe Bergdahl as an American hero with Bowe’s parents in tow.

 

AND YET when it comes to American citizens imprisoned in Iran for being Christians, President Obama goes for a nuke deal whatever it costs while abandoning American citizens to the Twelver-Muslim haters of Iran: Former Marine Amir Hekmati, journalist Jason Rezaian and Pastor Saeed Abedini. In the case of Hekmati and Rezaian the charges are trumped up because they are American citizens of Iranian origin. In Pastor Abedini’s case his arrest and imprisonment is because of his Christian faith.

 

The ACLJ has been working Pastor Abedini’s release for the half-decade he’s been incarcerated. Christian American citizens apparently mean nothing to Obama. There is all the appearance from Obama that Israel-hating Iran is going to be allowed to arm with nuke WMD while Iran tortures Americans.

 

JRH 5/2/15

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Obama Administration Threatens to Veto Measure Requiring Pastor Saeed’s Freedom

 

By ACLJ Staff

April 30, 2015

American Center for Law and Justice

 

The Obama Administration appears to be preparing to leave American Pastor Saeed Abedini and the other U.S. citizens wrongfully imprisoned in Iran on the sidelines of the Iran nuclear negotiations – even promising a veto to congressional legislation if an amendment is added to include the imprisoned Americans..

 

In a stunning comment, White House spokesperson Josh Earnest told reporters that interjecting the captive Americans into the discussions is unacceptable and that it “certainly would interfere with the ongoing negotiations between the international community and Iran on their nuclear program.”

 

That is simply unbelievable. Refusing to discuss the Americans being held hostage by Iran at the bargaining table and rejecting any congressional attempt to make any deal with Iran contingent on the release of the Americans is unacceptable.  It’s quite frankly appalling.

 

The disturbing comments came in today’s press briefing when White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest declared, “The President would certainly veto any amendment or any bill with an amendment that undermined the unanimous compromise that was reached in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee or that interfered with the ongoing negotiations. Certainly a provision, an amendment, that made this nuclear deal contingent on Iran’s release of those three American citizens would fall, I think frankly, into both categories.”

 

Full transcript of the questions from ABC News’ Jonathan Karl and White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest’s answers:

 

JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS:  The Senate of course is debating the Corker Bill. Corker announces he has a veto proof majority. He doesn’t really need it, because you’ve endorsed the compromise bill. But there are a whole series of amendments that are going to be voted on. You know, for instance, there’s an amendment that says before any sanctions are lifted, Iran would have to release those three Americans known to be in Iranian prisons. What is the administration’s view on these amendments? Are you saying it is this deal or no deal? Would we go back to a veto threat situation if, in the specific instance I just mentioned, an amendment passes that says first Iran needs to release those Americans? Would you veto that bill?

 

JOSH EARNEST: The President would certainly veto any amendment or any bill with an amendment that undermined the unanimous compromise that was reached in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee or that interfered with the ongoing negotiations. Certainly a provision, an amendment, that made this nuclear deal contingent on Iran’s release of those three American citizens would fall, I think frankly, into both categories. It would directly undermine the unanimous compromise that was reached in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and it certainly would interfere with the ongoing negotiations between the international community and Iran on their nuclear program.

 

KARL: So the President would veto that?

 

EARNEST:  So, those kinds of amendments that are added to the bill, that undermine the unanimous compromise or would interfere with the talks would earn a presidential veto. And I think that, given, again, the unanimous vote in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I am confident there would be strong support—or I guess strong opposition—to those kinds of amendments. And that opposition, I would expect it to be bipartisan. But this is a process that will have to play out.

 

Listen Now.

 

This is despicable. This is outrageous. And it is an insult to the captive Americans and their families.

 

The President is promising to veto a bill requiring the release of Pastor Saeed and the other Americans imprisoned in Iran.

 

Time is running out. We must put more pressure on the White House and Congress.

 

The fact of the matter is simple.  There can be no deal unless Pastor Saeed and his fellow American hostages in Iran are free.

 

The Senate is debating key amendments that prioritize the release of American Pastor Saeed Abedini to reunite him with his family here in the U.S., along with the release of the three other American hostages, Jason Rezaian, Amir Hekmati, and Robert Levinson.  We are fighting on Capitol Hill and working directly with members of the U.S. Senate.

 

Over 185,000 of you have already signed our latest petition to urge the U.S. Senate to do the right thing.

 

Stand with us as we urge Congress to legally require Pastor Saeed’s freedom before any deal with Iran is finalized.

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Walking a Day Imprisoned with Pastor Saeed

 

By ACLJ Staff

April 29, 2015

American Center for Law Justice

 

* The following is an expository narrative crafted from the information imprisoned American Pastor Saeed has shared with his family and descriptions publicized from released prisoners of Rajaei Shahr Prison.  As Pastor Saeed’s wife Naghmeh says, “This is a day in the life of Saeed as he would tell it.

 

8:00 AM         I awake after another sleepless night, not knowing what the day will hold.  Will another of my fellow inmates be dragged to the gallows today?  Will another inmate steal my belongs? Will a guard threaten me to recant my faith and return to Islam?  I start to try and prepare my mind for what strength I will need for another day, but my thoughts are interrupted as the guards come to count me. To them I am not a man but just another number. I debate whether to lay my head back down and skip the meager breakfast of bread and cheese, realizing that if I do, I will only have one other meager portion of food to sustain me for the entire day.  Reality hits abruptly every morning, awakening me from my dreams of family and freedom. Sleep is incredibly alluring as it is in my sleep that I temporarily escape the reality of prison life.  Sleep also helps me pass the time and to avoid tension among other prisoners. There are days where I don’t have the strength to get out of bed, but luckily today is not that day.  Today, as I begin my day, I stop and pray to steady my mind and remind myself of the promises of God.

 

10:00 AM       Today I get to take a shower.  It sounds like such a simply luxury, but here with limited facilities and severe overcrowding, I count it a blessing despite the filth I stand in to clean myself.  You see, there are only 3 showers for the roughly 80 prisoners in my section of the prison.  Practically, this means I get to shower roughly once a week. The water is cold, but I am grateful.

 

11:00 AM       After my shower I contemplate whether to return to my little corner in my cell  or try to mingle with other prisoners.  There are roughly 80 of us in my little room built for 20, but my corner is where I can pray and avoid conflict with other prisoners.  For a while I was able to make paper crosses to hang by my bed, a sort of little sanctuary, but the guards have since forbidden such displays. While the day always passes faster when I have fellowship with others, doing so has gotten increasingly more difficult. There are some prisoners here who see my very presence as a threat, for I am not only a convert to Christianity but I am also an American.  This tension has only grown as the United States and Iran continue to negotiate.  For today, I decide to sit in my little space, alone with my thoughts.

  

12:00 PM        The guards round us up to take us to the  courtyard.  The courtyard is not much more than an open air concrete cell, but it is my only opportunity to feel the sun on my face.  Going outdoors is a luxury offered daily; but over the past year, there were many days when I had to avoid the courtyard.  It was in the courtyard that some prisoners associated with Islamic terrorists groups threatened to take my life.  The tensions are high with fellow prisoners who oppose my faith and conversion from Islam, but with recent geopolitical events, my U.S. citizenship has also become a source of tension.  The internal pull for sunlight entices me, but I know that stepping outside places me at greater risk.  So today, I avoid the conflict and decide sunlight is not worth the risk.

 

2:00 PM          As prisoners, we are responsible for maintaining the ward and are each assigned chores and tasks.  But even with these tasks the sheer number of us and lack of overall care for the facilities has created inhumane and unsanitary conditions.  Our bathroom, which I am tasked with cleaning today, is no more than a hole in the ground.  Every attempt to clean the bathroom is futile as the ceiling above leaks feces and urine from the bathroom directly above.  As I clean I try to maintain perspective by humming worship songs.  In this filth, I am reminded of the depth of my own filth that Jesus took for me by dying on the cross.

  

5:00 PM          My stomach is starting to feel the pains of severe hunger. The meager portion of bread and cheese has not sustained me throughout the day.  With these hunger pains I am also desperate for some relief from the pains in my abdomen – injuries I sustained from numerous prison beatings endured over the years.  The level of pain has varied in the last two and half years, but today it is strong.   Unfortunately, the mild pain killers that curbed the sharpness of my pain have long run out. The prison doctors have told me they will provide no additional medicine for my internal injuries.  So today, I go to the one source I know to help my pain – I go to God.

 

6:00 PM          For the second time today I must line up to be counted by the guards.

  

7:00 PM          When a prisoner arrives here, he has only what clothing and little money he had in his pocket when detained.  After going through the mandatory quarantine, the prisoner enters the general population and must purchase any necessities from the prison store.   We must purchase our own dishes and utensils for eating, our blankets for keeping warm in the cold winter, our undergarments, and our toiletries. So for some prisoners who are estranged from their family they have very little and eat their food from plastic containers cut from used milk jugs and cleaning agents.  Today, I feel blessed my family has provided me enough money on my store account to have my own bowl and spoon.   For dinner, I am given either a single potato or a bowl of rice with some sauce. Tonight’s dinner is rice with what tastes like soy sauce.  Of the two and half years I have been in the prison, the prison has only made available protein, which I had to purchase from the prison store, for 2 months.  The last time I ate protein was over 7 months ago. Clean drinking water has also been a scarcity.  For months now, I have had to drink water from the tap—water that I must let sit so the sediments can settle before skimming the water from the top.  I can tell that the lack of nutritious food has taken a toll on my strength and health.

 

9:00PM           The sun has set and the day is winding down.  I return to my cell and try to find something to occupy my mind.  The room is extremely crowded and dark. There is a small window near my bed, without glass and steel bars. The broken window was brutal during the winter months, so I am grateful that the weather has warmed.  Before settling into bed, I must regularly check the beds as the prison is infested with roaches and mice.  A few weeks ago I had reached into my Kleenex box for a tissue only to find that a mouse had made his home inside.

 

12:30 AM       Lights out at 12:30.  While I seek sleep, it evades me tonight.  Over the past several weeks the number of executions in the prison has greatly increased.  I try to close my eyes and avoid the sounds and images of death. I try to coax my mind into recognizing that if I can just stop my thoughts about my reality I can return to my dreams where I can be reunited with my wife and two beautiful children.  I try to recount which day of the week it is and cling to the hope that I will get to have a visitation with my Iranian family on Wednesday – it is in these visitations that I get to see pictures of my growing children.  It is during these visitations I get the words of encouragement from all of my brothers and sisters in Christ who have committed to praying for my freedom.

 

The ACLJ continues to work in this country and abroad to secure the freedom of Pastor Saeed – a U.S. citizen – who has been imprisoned in Iran for more than two-and-a-half years because of his Christian faith. The ACLJ represents Pastor Saeed’s wife, Naghmeh, and their two young children who live in Idaho.

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Obama Deserting Pastor Abedini to Iran Prison

John R. Houk

© May 2, 2015

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Obama Administration Threatens to Veto Measure Requiring Pastor Saeed’s Freedom

 

Walking a Day Imprisoned with Pastor Saeed

 

American Center for Law and Justice | Washington D.C. | Copyright © 2015, ACLJ

 

The ACLJ is an organization dedicated to the defense of constitutional liberties secured by law.

 

American Center for Law and Justice is a d/b/a for Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism, Inc., a tax-exempt, not-for-profit, religious corporation as defined under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, specifically dedicated to the ideal that religious freedom and freedom of speech are inalienable, God-given rights. The Center’s purpose is to engage legal, legislative and cultural issues by implementing an effective strategy of advocacy, education and litigation to ensure that those rights are protected under the law. The organization has participated in numerous cases before the Supreme Court, Federal Court of Appeals, Federal District Courts, and various state courts regarding freedom of religion and freedom of speech. Your gift is very much appreciated and fully deductible as a charitable contribution. A copy of our latest financial report may be obtained by writing to us at P.O. Box 90555, Washington, DC 20090-0555

Mouthpiece for all Sorts of Voices


Twin bomb blasts took place in Lahore’s Youhanabad

Homicidal-Suicide bomber torches Church in Youhanabad, Lahore area of Pakistan

 

Intro to ‘Mouthpiece for all sorts of Voices’

Intro by Editor: John R. Houk

By Shamim Masih

4/26/15

 

On March 15, 2015 two homicidal-suicide bomber blew themselves up at two separate Christian Churches in Lahore, Pakistan.

 

On March 15, 2015 two suicide bombs blasted in two main big churches, Catholic Church and a Church of Pakistan at Youhanabad Lahore, 15 Christians killed at the spot and several injured who were taken to the hospitals for emergency medical treatment. More died in the hospitals and the total number of causalities increased to 30.while a number of people were in ICU in a critical situation, dying after one another. There are about 10 injured of the incident still under observation in the General Hospital Lahore.

 

It is fact that after terrorist attack on Churches, Christians became aggressive and they staged protest demonstration against the government administration held them responsible for attacks and blamed for not providing proper security to the church when they worship. Christian community was still in mourning because they lost their love ones in the bomb attack at All Saints Church Peshawar 2 years ago. The survivors of Peshawar attack are still under medical treatment and many of them become paralyze because of fractures

 

When Christians heard about the bomb attack on churches in Youhanabad they came out on the roads. The eye witnesses told that there were four attackers two of them were suicide bombers while other two were armed with deadly weapons. …

 

… Christian youth helped police to arrest two terrorists armed with weapon who opened fire on church security. Later the angry mob snatched those two culprits from police and killed them at the spot and then burns their bodies. … More Details – READ ENTIRETY (Crucial time for Christians in Pakistan after the Churches attacked in Youhanabad Lahore; By asif; ChristianTrueSpirit.com; 3/31/15)

 

After decades of feeling the powerlessness for Muslims persecuting Christians via exploitation, senseless murders, rape of young girls and women, false Blasphemy Law accusations, maiming and forced conversions and more intolerable atrocities; more youthful Christians had enough and found two Muslims a mob suspected of aiding the homicidal-suicide bombers and killed them then torched their lifeless bodies.

 

If you read the story above and a few others I am linking to, you will note that rather huge majority of Sunni Muslim Pakistani now have upped their persecution against Christians which include even more false accusations to satisfy what is now an emerging circle of revenge killings between Muslims and Christians. Due to the nature of the huge majority of Muslims in Pakistan, a cycle of religious revenge killings will result in a genocidal blood bath for Christians.

 

o   Pakistan: Youhanabad bamb (sic) blast incident claims 19th victim – 3/28/15

 

o   106 suspects in custody over Youhanabad riots – 3/25/15

 

o   Youhanabad Incident – 3/21/15

 

Sardar Mushtaq Gill blogging at Legal Evangelical Association Development (LEAD) is a decent place to go to get a good idea of the kinds of persecutions Christians experience in Pakistan: http://www.leadfamily.blogspot.com/

 

After providing a bit of background on what is going on in Pakistan you should read the journalistic voice provided by a Pakistani Christian Shamim Masih. Pay attention to the tone in Shamim’s report to get a sense of the life threatening social injustice pervading Christian society in relation to the Christian minority.

 

JRH 4/26/15

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Mouthpiece for all Sorts of Voices

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 4/25/2015 5:42 AM

 

ISLAMABAD: Dr. Martine Luther King, Jr. said, “… in the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends”. I quote this because many of religious and political leaders are silent after the Youhanabad incident. Many delegates from UNO, Commonwealth, politicians from the West and Churches usually visit Pakistan to know the situation of Pakistani Christians. Government representatives and puppets from the minority side assure them that everything is going on well. Sorry to say, none has ever tried to meet the real representatives from the community. Thus the situation remains the same and there is no hope for a better future.

 

Pakistani Christians fear repercussion after lynching the two suspects following the terrorist attack on two churches in Youhanabad, Lahore. Sohail Johnson had a relative among the victims of the massacre of Youhanabad and is not an isolated case. His brother is reportedly been arrested from Gujranwala city and associated with Youhanabad case. Joseph Francis, Executive Director CLAAS told on the telephone that he had filed application in the court but police are denying the arrest of Yousaf (brother of Sohail Johnson). Aslam Pervaiz Sahotra is another name in this regard, he was arrested from Islamabad and now has been transferred to jail.

 

It’s very common, the more they profess the Christian religion or defend religious minorities, uncover the persecution incidents, they are being targeted. Gulshan Masih has received multiple death threats from the country’s most brutal sectarian groups who know his home address. He is seeking asylum in Denmark and his application is still in process. He has been a campaigner for a Christian minority group. I fear they can just “arrest” me from the airport, because they have good contacts with the security people as well, who have been infiltrated by the religious extremists, if the application is rejected,” Gulshan said in a phone [interview]. He is accused of a blasphemy case and a FIR was registered against him under 295-C. My life is genuinely in danger in the home country, he requested Human Rights Groups to campaign for him and exert meaningful pressure, he added.

 

Persecution is not simply the killings, but the severe discrimination in many ways, educational opportunities, untouchable status, targeted during employment etc. Many Christian families are arrested in Thailand; those were seeking asylum to other Western countries. Hindus and Shia Muslims can escape to the countries where their faith is a majority, but there is no alternative for Christians other than the Christian majority countries.

 

It is therefore very important for every individual to approach those influential people who can speak to Pakistani government and are in a position to make a difference. The ongoing situation against Christians is inflexible especially for those Christians unnecessarily detained in the Youhanabad case and seeking asylum in different countries. 

 

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

 

Diplomatic Correspondent, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, UN, F & S, MOST, CADD & Human Rights Activist

 

For Americans especially, I have discovered the best way to donate to Shamim Masih is via Western Union sending money with this LINK to a Western Union agent in Islamabad. Include Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

______________________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Any text enclosed by brackets are by the Editor

 

© Shamim Masih

Martyrs for Christ and The Butchers of Islam


Martyrs' Blood is Church's Seed

 

I found a copy of the classic book entitled Fox’s Book of Martyrs on the website Christian Classics Ethereal Library (CCEL). The author John Fox was born in England in 1517. He died on April 18, 1587. The edition at CCEL begins with Nero’s persecuting of Christians circa 67 AD and culminates in the 1820’s with the mission efforts of an American Adoniram Judson. Obviously John Fox could not write past 1587 so the later editions were added by others.

 

The earliest days of Christianity prior to Constantine the Great essentially making the faith the State religion of the Roman Empire in the early 300s AD. It was perfectly legal to persecute Christians in some of the vilest ways prior to State protection. Guess where the state sanctions vile persecutions are going in the 21st century? Let me help your guess. It is a state that absolutely no other nation in the global community of nations recognize as a sovereign state. That unrecognized nation calls itself the Islamic State as well as claiming to Sunni Muslims to be a Caliphate.

 

The Islamic purists in Nigeria call themselves Boko Haram and they control wide swaths of northern Nigeria. Al Shabaab’s persecution has been as brutal as the Islamic State and Boko Haram but have not been as militarily successful on their home stomping grounds in Somalia.

 

Justin Smith eruditely addresses this Islamic persecution of Christians in the 21st century.

 

JRH 4/12/15

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Martyrs for Christ and The Butchers of Islam

 

By Justin O. Smith

Sent: 4/11/2015 2:43 PM

 

Christians, Jews and other religious minorities, such as Yazidis, Turkmen and Shabak, are currently being systematically exterminated across the Middle East and North Africa, especially in Iraq and Syria. As the Islamic State, Boko Haram and Al Shabaab repeatedly boast of horrific attacks on these religious minorities, the Christians and other victims are far less concerned with meaningless “Religious Freedom Acts” signed by Obama (Aug 2014), than they are with simply surviving; they need righteous world leaders, who will fight the evil marching towards every nation worldwide – the evil of the oppressive, totalitarian ideology of Islam.

 

On April 2nd, 2015, the international community witnessed 147 Christian students at Garissa University in Kenya singled out and murdered by Al Shabaab Islamofascist terrorists. And then on Easter Sunday, Islamic State fascist thugs destroyed the Church of the Virgin Mary in northeastern Syria, marking the latest in a long series of attacks against Christians during this decade.

 

Statistics from numerous sources, like Open Doors and PEW Research Center, show that Christians, who once represented 20% of the Middle East’s population have been reduced to 5% of the population in the Middle East. It is also safe to say that nearly three million Christians, in both Iraq and Syria, now number less than a combined total of 300,000, as they have fled or been slaughtered.

 

In January 2015, forty-five Christian churches were burned in Niamey, Niger alone, and two thousand people were murdered in the town of Baga, Nigeria, which was burned to the ground (BBC). According to Open Borders, an organization dedicated to “serving persecuted Christians worldwide”, roughly 3.2 million residents in Nigeria have left their homes, since the rise of the Islamic terror army of Boko Haram. For the same reason, thousands of Christians are evacuating Diffa, the border region between Niger and Nigeria, and seeking refuge at the military camps at Zinder.

 

Whenever Boko Haram, Al Shabaab and the Islamic State occupy an area, a common and terrible theme emerges, as they demand that the people identify themselves as Muslim or Christian, Allahu Akbar or Alleluia. A great number of these Christians truly live their faith, and they refuse to deny Jesus in order to save themselves. They die as martyrs for Christ.

 

In January of this year, David Curry, president of Open Doors USA, reported that 2014 was the most violent year of global Christian persecution. Curry also released the World Watch List, which named North Korea, Somalia, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Sudan, Iran, Pakistan, Eritrea and Nigeria the nations that are most hostile towards Christians. The overwhelming common thread in nine of these is the Islamic ideology.

 

Since July 2014, the Islamic State has demanded Iraq’s Christians must convert to Islam, pay extra taxes or be killed. The Islamic State has massacred and enslaved thousands of Christians and followers of the ancient Yazidi faith, murdered hundreds more from the Shabak religious minority, ransacked the tomb of Jonah in Mosul, destroyed a 7th Century Greek Orthodox Church in Tikrit, bombed a memorial of the Armenian genocide in Dair Alzour, Syria and beheaded 21 Coptic Christians in Libya.

 

These Islamic savages surpass the Nazis and Communists in their depravity. Islamofascist “soldiers” teach Muslim boys how to slice off the heads of the kafir, the infidels, the Christians and the enemies of Allah. They bury people alive and butcher little children. They have delivered hundreds of girls and women as sex-slaves and unwilling “brides”, torturing and raping them, as reported by the International Center for Investigative Reporting.

 

Representative Anna Eshoo (D-CA) is personally troubled by these atrocities. She is a first generation American and a Chaldean Catholic, whose mother is Armenian and whose father is an Assyrian Christian from Iraq. She recently told the ‘Washington Examiner’:

“We’re coming up to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide and when we look over our shoulders at history, we say ‘never again, we will never forget.’ So from both sides of the family, exactly what my grandmother described and all the elders of the family escaped is [again] taking place.”

 

Terrorized Christians and religious minorities unable to reach safety have been begging for help from anyone, and while some U.S. leaders have expressed the dire need to help them, so far, the vaunted international community has not acted forcefully enough to stop these Islamofascists from annihilating Christians and others. Their efforts have been small and futile, providing insufficient aid, as this new Holocaust is continuing to grow.

 

Kaldo Oghanna, an Assyrian Christian who helped train fellow Christians to combat these Islamic terrorists, told the Wall Street Journal, “No one has protected the minorities, and no one will in the future.” [See Also World Religion News]

 

Some experts, such as Paul Salem of the Middle East Institute, have called for “hard protections” and “safe zones” for people without the ability to protect themselves. Although $1.6 billion from the U.S. National defense Authorization Act has been allocated to aid Christians, ethnic minorities and their “local forces” in the Nineveh Plain and surrounding regions, this is far from fully addressing the broader scope of the problem, as the progeny of terrorists continue to ply the family trade across the globe.

 

How much longer will the world leaders continue to look the other way? When will the U.S. and Europe and the world’s Christian nations do something substantial and concrete to defend and protect our Christian brothers and sisters, who are persecuted, exiled and slain solely for being Christian?

 

On Veteran’s Day of 2011 at the Preserving Freedom Conference in Madison, TN,  Dr. Justin Akujieze revealed that the entire northern half of Nigeria had already been, in essence, conquered by the Islamists, as they have unilaterally declared Sharia Law without comment, debate or media discussion. At the same time, Muslims were committing genocide against the Christian Igbo tribes of Nigeria by burning them alive by the thousands, and these Islamofascists are now moving to control the entire country. As Dr. Justin appealed to those in the audience for their help in saving the rest of Nigeria from this Islamofascist onslaught, the emotion in his voice rang true, “Today is the last day and we must not wither. We must confront this head-on and together we will win.”

 

The Butchers of Islam have created a global crisis. They are an existential threat to families, human rights and religious communities in the United States and Europe too, not just in the Middle East and Africa, and as such, America and any other rightfully concerned nations must wage a relentless, vicious, intense war against them and brutally obliterate them wherever they are found: Destroy the destroyers of everything righteous, those lovers of Death, or continue doing next to nothing and watch Christianity in many regions become a footnote in history.

 

By Justin O. Smith

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Edited by John R. Houk

All links are by the Editor.

Any text enclosed by brackets are by the Editor.

 

© Justin O. Smith

 

Level Playing Field


Shamim Masih in Sling

Shamim Masih

Islamic terrorism has caught up to Christian Pakistani Shamim Masih. Shamim was attacked because of his Christian activism exposing the injustice of the Sunni Muslim majority against Christians and other Pakistan religious minorities. Pray for Shamim and his family that they are protected from nefarious Islamic terrorist agendas. Please think about supporting Shamim Masih on a regular basis. Here is some Western Union information to send some money:
 
For Americans especially, I have discovered the best way to donate to Shamim Masih is via Western Union sending money with this LINK to a Western Union agent in Islamabad. Include Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560
 
JRH 4/8/15

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Level Playing Field
 
By Shamim Masih
Sent 4/8/2015 12:11 AM
 
ISLAMABA:  Over past 15 years of my life, I have observed that working in a Sunni dominated country like Pakistan, on removing barriers to success like discrimination and divisions is not only hard but impossible, especially when you belong to any of the depressed community. During my career as writer, telephonic threats are a routine but recent Youhanabad unpleasant incident has brought to the level to think again the word “Pakistani Christians”. Youhanabad 2 Churches blast seems very well planned to defame Christian’s character in Pakistan. On March 15, 2015, two suicide bombers attacked two churches in Youhanabad, Lahore. I immediately planned to travel Lahore and informed my resident editor (Hanif Sabir, Daily Khabrain-Islamabad) about the incident and went to Lahore. However, I was considered absent and later was terminated from the job due to absence. The mob reaction towards those two suspects was very natural who were caught red-handed during the incident. Most media houses broadcast them that they were facilitator to those suicide bombers. However, later they were shown as innocent. It seems; it is done on certain pressure.
 
After this incident, the local authorities and media has proved the two suspects as innocent and tried to defame Christian character. I submitted this incident report to British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) and Wilson Choudhry usually provides me assistance for reports. I welcome this tiny assistance because reporting on Christian affairs is my passion not assignments. BPCA financial assistance hardly meets the cost of my travelling and meal.
 
This Yohanabad incident has not only left the oppressed community helpless but police allegedly being detained and subjected to third-degree method without being produced in any court. Police targeted the people who have ever raised voice for the rights of the community. The list includes the names of the prominent Christian rights activists like Aslam Parvaiz Sohtra, Sohail Johnson, Joseph Francis and others. Apparently, these people have no link with the lynching. Unfortunately two Christian MPAs from PML-N helped the police identify the suspected miscreant and detain them. Aslam Parvaiz Sohtra visited me on 24th March; he was willing to arrange candle vigil in Islamabad. The very next morning, he was arrested from G-7 Islamabad and was shifted to Lahore. He is simply targeted for he was open to raise his community rights.
 
The reaction from the masses is not very encouraging either. The majority continue to remain apathetic to the on-going persecution of our minorities. They refuse to understand that standing up for them is a sacred duty entrusted upon us by our faith. Christians are persecuted due to their faith. The very unfortunate history of minorities in Pakistan is littered with violence and institutional discrimination at all level. We receive a “step mother love” from the land we belong to. Our patriotism is questioned and our loyalty to the country is often mingled with doubt and suspicion. In Pakistan, the history of minorities in general and Christians in particular is reddened with the blood of innocents with endless catalogues of persecution.
 
On March 29, when I was on the way back to my home, when I was about to reach IJP road, two motorcyclists assaulted me. As soon as I fell down on the ground, both shouted to stop writing on Christian rights otherwise be ready to face dire consequences. They left me affronted there; after a few minutes I managed my motorbike and went to the doctor. I had injuries on my both knee and left arm with minor fracture. The doctor managed the first aid pasted plaster my left arm. Later I went to the Police Station – PS I-9 and submitted an application of this incident. It is not the first time that I am being targeted becauseApplication submitted PS from Shamim of my own l faith. Earlier in 2013, when I was working in my office, in the presence of other staff reporters in Daily Khabrain, Kamal Asfer, a religious extremist attacked me on the basis of a different opinion. (Kamal Asfer, reportedly has close relations with Taliban group and had been working for different religious groups).
 
Christians find no protection of the law as their vulnerability is even exploited by the laws itself since they give room for the wide misuse of Pakistan blasphemy laws, which further compounds their precariousness, disillusionment and alienation. Those Pakistanis who do speak up for Christians have themselves become targets of violence. In the midst of this ever-increasing persecution the terror-stricken Christians have no hope but to clamor for help to the government which seem to have no ears at all. In most democracies around the world, the law of the land should be the life blood for its citizens. It protects and promotes basic and fundamental right of its citizens regardless of race, religion, or any other background. However, in Pakistan, laws are more often than not used to spite the weak and the vulnerable and they often support the strong.
 
Laws should be equally applied to everyone, but how far government has provided protection and justice to the victims of persecution? How many of those who lynched the Christian couple Shehzad and Shama have been charged with murder or terrorism? Who among the attackers of Shanti Nagar or of Gojra and Korian and Joseph Colony has ever been prosecuted? To fully understand the two-faced nature of Pakistan’s approach to the justice system a recent statement of Pakistan Interior Minister, Chaudhry Nisar is worth to mention here. Commenting on the post Lahore Church blasts violence which saw two Muslim men burnt to death by violent Christians Nisar said: “Lynching is the worst form of terrorism.”
 
Without doubt it is true that no one has a right to take law in its own hand and those who perpetrated this heinous crime of lynching two men should be brought to justice. Nevertheless, it is equally important to treat all citizens with justice. True rule of law does not allow any sense of alienation or stigmatization. To cap it all, no government minister attended the bereaved families of Youhanabad at the time of writing these lines. It is the first and foremost responsibility of the echelons of any state to provide legislation which serves the weak and the strong alike. They have to ensure the laws are applied equally to all citizens and that the justice system neither favor nor discriminates anyone on grounds of their religion, race and background. And equal opportunities should be given to every citizen of the country.
 
Be Blessed,
Shamim Masih
 
Diplomatic Correspondent, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, UN, F & S, MOST, CADD & Human Rights Activist
 
For Americans especially, I have discovered the best way to donate to Shamim Masih is via Western Union sending money with this LINK to a Western Union agent in Islamabad. Include Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560
________________________
Edited by John R. Houk
 
© Shamim Masih

Justice without Discrimination, we Demand


Muslim murdered by enraged Christians 3-15-15

Muslim murdered by enraged Christians 3-15-15

 

Shamim Masih writes of the aftermath of the homicidal-suicide attacks on a Catholic Church and a Protestant Church. In the aftermath of those attacks some Pakistani-Christians became fed up with Sunni Muslim persecution and went on a rampage of their own in which two Sunni Muslims were murdered and burned. Pakistan police have been engaged in a manhunt for the Christian perpetrators. On the other hand Shamim is wondering where is the same degree of justice that Christian victims should acquire from decades of persecution by Sunni Muslims.

 

JRH 3/22/15

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Justice without Discrimination, we Demand

Frequently Attacked Christians

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 3/22/2015 5:05 AM

 

Islamabad: Over the last three decades, Pakistan has transitioned from a developing to an unstable and fragile state. Pakistan is confronted with terrorism which has emanated from the events in this region over the last thirty years. Although democracy successfully returned to Pakistan in 2008 after nine years of military rule, Pakistan continues to grapple with economic decline, weakening of the social capital and increasingly violent socio-political conflicts. The weakness of mechanisms to address conflict without violence are compounded by human rights abuses and widening division on the basis of ethnicity, gender and religion. Weakening cohesion between different segments of the society, conflicts over resource distribution, humanitarian assistance and representation often spiral into violence. Relationship between the government and its constituency lack trust, accountability and transparency.

 

Pakistanis have been attacked in Churches, Masjids [Shia], Imam Baragahs [aka Imambargahs (Shia Mosque) – See HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE], market places and schools. Our children and women were killed irrespective of their religion. Islamist militants in Pakistan have frequently attacked Christians and other religious minorities over the last decade. But the recent bomb attack on two churches in Youhanabad [Also See HERE and HERE] has left Christians terrified and afraid; many in the aftermath ran from the incident site and locked themselves in their homes. Others full of fury and rage rampaged through the streets, and a few of them took the law into their own hands murdering two cohorts of the attack who they alleged were believed to be involved in the terrorist attack. The two men were burned alive in an act that emulated the manner in which many Christians and other blasphemy law victims have been murdered by the extremists in the past years. Now the government has arrested many of them, I take them as victims now. They will suffer and nobody will help them in any sense. NGOs and other so-called activists is regularly going there for photo session but nobody will realize their pain.

  

We Pakistanis are already living in critical zone; always living under constant different threats, we cannot move freely in parks, markets and we are not even safe in worship places. We always face short of different services, occasionally our Internet and mobile service is struck off due to security reasons. And Christians of the country are an impoverished segment of the nation. It was contrary to their usual reaction. Any Christian around the world supports their [revenge-minded Christians’] arrest and the arrest of any protesters that caused damage to the public and private property. We believe that the rule of law is paramount to order and control. Local Christian leadership has given the names of those who were involved in this incident and some mob destruction of property. Christians normally do not react in this manner. However there are examples of reaction seen many times, protesters even have razed every blockage on their way and destroyed the public and private property. But don’t want to drag the names of the people who have been working for the humanity. There are rumors that authorities has registered the names of some of those people as well. Very obviously; we believe, it is inhuman and degrading treatment [act of revenge], but where [does the anger and fury] come from?

 

I believe, law breakers must be brought to justice but can someone give me the names of the perpetrators of the Gojra incident where eight family members including two children were burnt alive, how about the people involved in burning 2000 Christian’s houses including 13 churches in Shanti Nager, Shangla [Sangla] Hill and in Joseph Colony Lahore, where 178 Christian house including two churches. What about the protesters, who destroyed the twin city and looted shops and ATM machines around the country when Benazir Bhutto was killed in Rawalpindi. How about the mob that went to French Embassy when there was hue and cry about sketches? In the recent year, how many were punished while attacking the parliament house and even Supreme Court of Pakistan? And most recently how many were punished when Christian couple was burnt alive in Kot Radha Kishan. Justice should be given to all without discrimination.

 

The government of Punjab and Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar claimed to take strict action against the perpetrators of the violence. Mr. Nisar and CM Punjab are answerable to the Christian community to provide justice without any discrimination. We do not condone such violence and hatred said Wilson Chaudhry, chairman British Pakistani Christian Association. We wholeheartedly support the arrests and prosecution of any Christians involved in the murder. But we condemn the excessive force by police who are quite randomly capturing Pakistani Christians in a crack-down that is deemed biased. We call the government to protect all those arrested while they go through legal process, he added. Pakistani media have wholly focused on the murder of “more valuable lives of Muslims”. Their skewed reports on the attack have fuelled the great hatred towards Christians in Pakistan.

 

The Supreme Court has ordered to protect the worship places of religious minorities. But sadly interior ministry doesn’t seem interested to do so. Ch. Nisar claimed that due to the shortage of the staff, ministry is unable to provide security to all worship places in the country. However police officer told us (agreed not mention his name) thousands of the police officials are fixed in and around Raywind Mohal and the same are deputed in Raywind for the religious services of Sunni Muslims.

 

It’s another Sunday, Church leaders have called for their parishioners to attend their churches despite threats that their churches will be bombed. It will continue and continue….  Let’s pray for Pakistani Christians, let’s stand with each other, and let’s hold one another. Many of us are tired of government and are looking to build sustainable communities. Governments are their intelligence services and their lack of respect for human rights are wreaking havoc and promoting fundamentalism around the world and especially here in Pakistan. 

 

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

 

Diplomatic Correspondent, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, UN, F & S, MOST, CADD & Human Rights Activist

 

Daily Khabrian – in Urdu (PakBiz.com description – in English) & Channel – 5 (A project of Khabrian Group of papers)

 

For Americans especially, I have discovered the best way to donate to Shamim Masih is via Western Union sending this LINK to a Western Union agent in Islamabad. Include Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

___________________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Text enclosed by brackets are by the Editor.

All links are by the Editor.

 

© Shamim Masih

Pakistani Christians Slaughtered in Suicide-Jihad


Pakistan-Christian victim of homicidal suicide

Due to ISIS butchery of Christians in the Syria/Iraq area of their world Pakistan does not get a lot of press about the persecution and bloody attacks by Muslims against that nation’s Christians. It is a good thing to highlight how Muslims are treating Christians wherever that religion of butchery is the dominant faith. Raymond Ibrahim tackles the death cult in Pakistan.

 

JRH 3/20/15

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Pakistani Christians Slaughtered in Suicide-Jihad

A wave of genocidal attacks against Christians hits Pakistan.

 

By RAYMOND IBRAHIM

March 19, 2015 – 9:01 pm

PJ Media

 

On Sunday, March 15, as Christian churches around the world were celebrating morning mass, two churches in Pakistan were attacked by Islamic suicide bombers. At least 17 people were killed and over 70 were wounded.

 

The two churches (located in Youhanabad, Lahore’s Christian quarter) were St. John’s Catholic Church and Christ Church (Protestant). The Taliban claimed responsibility. It is believed that the group had hoped for much greater death tolls, as there were almost 2,000 people in both churches at the time of the explosions.

 

According to eyewitnesses, two suicide bombers approached the gates of the two churches and tried to enter them. When they were stopped — including by a 15-year-old Christian who blocked them with his body — they self-detonated. Witnesses saw “body parts flying through the air.”

 

Thus did the jihadis “kill and be killed,” in the words of Koran 9:111, the verse most often cited to justify suicide attacks.

 

According to an official statement of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Episcopal Conference of Pakistan, despite all the threats received by the churches, authorities only provided “minimal” security:

 

Agents present at the time of the attack were busy watching the cricket match on TV, instead of carrying out their duty to protect churches. As a result of this neglect, many Christians have lost their lives.

 

The statement further urged:

 

… the government to adopt strong measures to protect churches and other religious minorities in Pakistan [since] the Christian community of Pakistan was targeted by extremists in the past.

 

Less than a year-and-a-half earlier, on September 22, 2013, in Peshawar, suicide bombers entered the All Saints Church right after Sunday mass and blew themselves up in the midst of approximately 550 congregants, killing nearly 90 worshippers. Many were Sunday school children, women, and choir members. At least 120 were injured.

 

One parishioner recalled how “human remains were strewn all over the church.” (For an idea of the aftermath of suicide attacks on churches, see these graphic pictures.)

 

In 2001, Islamic gunmen stormed St. Dominic’s Protestant Church, opening fire on the congregants and killing at least 16 worshippers, mostly women and children.

 

Less dramatic attacks on churches occur with great frequency. Days before last Sunday’s twin attacks, three armed men entered Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Kasur district, Punjab, and took church personnel, the assistant parish priest, and congregation hostage. Before leaving the premises, the terrorists stole mobile telephones, cameras, and a computer.

 

Earlier, Father Leopold, the ailing parish priest, was robbed by thieves:

 

[They] pretended to be ordinary members of the faithful wanting to enroll some children at the parish school. Then they suddenly pulled out guns.

 

Christmas season is an especially dangerous time for Christians meeting in churches. On last December 25:

 

Heavy contingents of police were deployed in and around the churches … citizens were allowed only after [a] thorough body search … while the entry points leading to the churches had been closed by placing cemented blocks and barbed wire.

 

During another Christmas, the following attack came in response to fatwas condemning Christmas celebrations:

 

When Christian worshipers were coming out of different churches after performing Christmas prayers, more than one hundred Muslim extremists equipped with automatic rifles, pistols and sticks attacked the Christian women, children and men.

 

There have also been general attacks on Christians, especially in the context of accusing them of “blaspheming” against Islam. Last November, a mob — not the “Taliban,” and not “terrorists” — consisting of at least 1,200 Muslims tortured and burned to death a young Christian couple (the wife was pregnant) in an industrial kiln in Pakistan.

 

Someone had accused the Christian couple of desecrating the Koran.

 

Even when not in church and not accused of blasphemy, Christian minorities are always in danger. Last December, Elisabeth Bibi, a 28-year-old pregnant Christian mother of four, was “beaten, scorned and humiliated, deprived of her dignity [and] forced to walk naked through the town” by two Muslim brothers — the pregnant woman’s employers — following an argument.

 

In the ordeal, she lost her baby.

 

Rights activists say the attack “was motivated because of Bibi’s [Christian] religious beliefs.” [Blog Editor: For clarity’s sake, not the Israeli nickname for PM Netanyahu but this is the victimized Christian girl’s name – Elishba Bibi]

 

Speaking last Sunday from Rome, Pope Francis said:

 

It’s with pain, much pain that I was told of the terrorist attacks against two Christian churches in Lahore in Pakistan, which have caused numerous deaths and injuries. These are Christian churches and Christians are persecuted, our Christian brothers are spilling their blood simply because they are Christians. I implore God … that this persecution against Christians — that the world seeks to hide — comes to an end and that there is peace.

 

Pope Francis is often criticized for his apologetic approach towards Islam. Even here, he does not note who is persecuting these Christians, leading to confusing assertions (“our Christian brothers are spilling their blood” sounds like Christians are killing Christians). But the pope is forthright as to why Christians are being killed: “simply because they are Christians.”

 

Others, such as the U.S. government, will not even concede that much.

 

When the world heard and saw how 21 Coptic Christians had their heads sawed off by Islamic jihadis in Libya, the White House issued a statement condemning the beheadings — but referred to the beheaded only as “Egyptian citizens.” Not Christians, or even Copts, even though that is the sole reason they were slaughtered according to statements issued by their executioners.

 

Such obfuscation ensures the Muslim persecution of Christians “that the world seeks to hide” will continue indefinitely.

______________________________________

Raymond Ibrahim, a Middle East and Islam specialist, is author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007). His writings have appeared in a variety of media, including the Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, Jane’s Islamic Affairs Analyst, Middle East Quarterly, World Almanac of Islamism, and Chronicle of Higher Education; he has appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, C-SPAN, PBS, Reuters, Al-Jazeera, NPR, Blaze TV, and CBN. Ibrahim regularly speaks publicly, briefs governmental agencies, provides expert testimony for Islam-related lawsuits, and testifies before Congress. He is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center; Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow, Middle East Forum; and a Media Fellow at the Hoover Institution, 2013. Ibrahim’s dual-background — born and raised in the U.S. by Coptic Egyptian parents born and raised in the Middle East — has provided him with unique advantages, from equal fluency in English and Arabic, to an equal understanding of the Western and Middle Eastern mindsets, positioning him to explain the latter to the former.

 

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Sangla Hill – blasphemy accused family still suffers from dire consequences


Tareeza Yousaf speaking with Shamim Masih

Tareeza Yousaf speaking to Shamim Masih

 
I offer my condolences to Shamim Masih for his Father’s homegoing to Jesus Christ the Son of God and Savior.
 
Life is a precarious thing for Christians in Pakistan. Muslims use Pakistan’s Blasphemy Law as a pretext to execute their Islamic Supremacist prejudice against Christians. Most of the time the Blasphemy Law accusations are a falsehood tool used as vengeance or a pretext to steal property and what few valuables Christians might actually possess in a nation in which their existence at best is as a second class citizen unworthy of the rule of law as a Muslim views. Read below to see what I mean.
 
JRH 1/9/15
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Sangla Hill blasphemy accused family still suffers from dire consequences
 
By Shamim Masih
Sent: 1/7/2015 11:17 PM
 
ISLAMABAD: My father passed peacefully, with all his children around him, adored by not just all of them, but their children as well, and even a few of their children’s children. A Brain Hemorrhage caused his death on January 01, 2015. After the funeral and memorial service, while sitting among relatives, Tareeza Yousaf – wife to Yousaf Masih (blasphemy accused in Sangla Hill incident) – told me that she and her family are still facing death threats and dire consequences around ten years after [Link] the incident.
 
In November 2005, Roman Catholic, Salvation Army, United Presbyterian Churches, a convent, a missionary school, a girls’ hostel and a pastor’s house were attacked at Sangla Hill. The attack was over the allegation of a violation of [Pakistan’s] blasphemy laws by a Christian, Yousaf Masih. None of the perpetrators of the attacks has ever been punished ever since [the attack], while a judicial inquiry into the incident remains either incomplete or unpublished. But his family still suffers from dire consequences after the death of Yousaf Masih in 2008. She said her husband had been implicated in a false blasphemy case [and was] beaten severely causing his death after his release [from jail]. Her son has been assaulted twice, while his brother was threatened while he was on the way back home after his classes, she added.
 
Around 500 Christian families living in Sangla Hill left the town the night before the attacks of November 12, 2005. The widow of Yousaf Masih said that she noticed the increasing vitriol against Christians being spouted from mosque loudspeakers after a her husband Yousaf Masih was falsely accused of burning copies of Quran, and had fled before the riots to save their lives. All Christian families that had fled Sangla Hill had been unable to return because they feared they would be attacked and the police would not protect them. Some families after the riots reached an agreement with locals they could return to their homes, in exchange for dropping the charges against the accused. Later a blasphemy case against Yousaf Masih was also dropped as part of the agreement.
 
Since then she is living in a hidden place with her children under constant threat of her children’s lives. And nobody has been helping her out in daily routine life. She could hardly manage her living [expenses]. Since her husband remained in prison, Peter Jacob, ex-executive director of the Catholic Church in Pakistan’s National Commission for Justice and Peace had helped her to some extent. He reportedly got her family’s passports but didn’t manage their applications. Cecil S Chaudhry present director is not aware of this case, when I asked him to know his stance. He promised to call me back but he didn’t. It’s really horrible that people like this are not taking serious steps to protect the life of [Christian] victims. This is a country where Salman Taseer was murdered by his security guard for demanding reforms in the blasphemy law and civil society can be attacked while commemorating the candle vigil after few years of his death. This is a country where Ayub Qaiser, blasphemy accused can be arrested after three years of living in hiding places. A place where Ryan Santan’s family is forced to live in hiding places while he has reportedly married to a Sri Lankan girl and looking for asylum abroad. Pakistan is place of Islamists, where hundreds of the houses of the Christians can be burnt like at Sangla Hill, Shanti Nagar, Gojra and Joseph Colony, Lahore. And a Christian couple is burnt alive without any solid evidence [of breaking the Blasphemy Law] [nor any] judicial procedure.
   
This type of gory incident has surly rattled over 20 million followers of Christ Jesus in Pakistan and nearly 2.2 billion Christians living across the globe. But this is not a place where people can raise a voice against terrorism and against threats to their values, free speech and the rule of law. Democracy is seen in papers only and insecurity is seen all around.
 
Be Blessed,
Shamim Masih
 
Diplomatic Correspondent, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, UN, F & S, MOST, CADD & Human Rights Activist
 
Daily Khabrian – in Urdu (PakBiz.com description – in English) & Channel – 5 (A project of Khabrian Group of papers)
 
For Americans especially, I have discovered the best way to donate to Shamim Masih is via Western Union sending this LINK to a Western Union agent in Islamabad. Include Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560
___________________________________
Edited by John R. Houk
All text and links enclosed in brackets are by the Editor.
 
© Shamim Masih
 

Stop Raising Voice for Justice, Peace and Respect


Tahir Naveed Chaudhry  (center) & Basharat Khokhar (right)

Tahir Naveed Chaudhry (left) & Basharat Khokher (right)
 
Shamim Masih highlights the Christian Human Rights activism of Basharat Khokher. Then Shamim reports something of little surprise. Muslim activists err radicals have been attempting to silence Basharat.
 
JRH 12/24/14

Please Support NCCR

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Stop Raising Voice for Justice, Peace and Respect
 
By Shamim Masih
Sent: 12/23/2014 11:22 PM
 
ISLAMABAD: Let the voices of justice, peace, and respect for law enforcement be heard. People around the world have seen the iron man protecting a Christian minor girl Rimsha (accused of burning holy papers of Islamic verses that focused international attention on Pakistan’s unsympathetic blasphemy laws) up to a helicopter outside the prison, when she was released on bail. I have also seen him during the said case protecting her attorney Tahir Naveed Chaudhry during the case trial.Rimsha Masih & Basharat Khokhar at Helocopter Although Chaudhry’s role as a lawyer was not prominent but his presence was there which won her release on bail. Later Rana Abdul Hameed, Rimsha’s attorney came in and saved her skin up to the apex court. I am an eye witness and have seen him in or outside the Islamabad courts running in rain or sun. Although I knew him before but since then we came close to each other and working together for the rights of Christians. Rimsha was held in jail before getting bail, but the cleric was later accused of fabricating evidence and the case against the girl was dropped. Later Rimsha and her family found refuge in Canada. But this man is still under threat and facing threatening calls on routine basis. Yes, he is Basharat Masih Khokhar, a police official, who had been serving as a security guard with Shahbaz Bhatti, a slain Federal Minister for minorities in Islamabad.
 
Basharat Khokher has been struggling for Christian rights for many years. In November, 2008, he was accused of harsh blasphemy law and a First Investigation Report (FIR) 267/08 was registered against him under 295-C and 109 Pakistan Penal Code, when he was saving a Christian colony in Rawal Dam Islamabad. He was arrested in the same case in January, 2009 and was put into prison. He remained in the jail for five months and was released on bail from Islamabad High Court on June, 2009. After he was released on bail, he was appointed as security guard to Shahbaz Bhatti, a Federal Minister for minorities. After the assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti on March 2011, he worked with Dr. Paul Bhatti, his brother, during this time he left no stone unturned to save the minor Christian girl Rimsha’s life. Finally his case was discharged on the baseless allegation on June, 2011. Since then, he is under constant threats. According to him, he received many threatening calls and was attacked on September 9, 2012 at Zero point Islamabad. Basharat Khokher’s car was damaged and received injuries. Later he filed a complaint in Abbpara police station, Islamabad. On December 15, 2012, the same group followed him to his house and attacked his house. He sent his family into hiding for fear his family members would be attacked again.
 
Most recently, he complained at the police station and said that on December 19, 2014 at 10:37 pm, he received a phone call from a landline number that threatened him and asked to stop raising a voice against terrorism. He said that he held candle vigil against the terrorist attack in Peshawar Army ran school, which left 147 people killed including 132 school children. The voice told him to keep in mind the scene of carnage of Shahbaz Bhatti and Salman Taseer, governor Punjab.
 
This is really pathetic that we cry over spilled milk but do not take protective measures when the situation can be controlled and the life of a man can be saved. I have seen many Christian rights defenders [that are] much active on social media but there are few who really work hard to safe guard other’s rights, Basharat Khokhar is one of them, who act on the rights of Christian from foot. I think, he is an asset and human rights organizations should come in to raise a voice against the extremists who work behind the radicalism.
 
Be Blessed,
 
Shamim Masih
 
Diplomatic Correspondent, Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, UN, F & S, MOST, CADD & Human Rights Activist
 
Daily Khabrian – in Urdu (PakBiz.com description – in English) & Channel – 5 (A project of Khabrian Group of papers)
 
For Americans especially, I have discovered the best way to donate to Shamim Masih is via Western Union sending this LINK to a Western Union agent in Islamabad. Include Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560
__________________________
Edited by John R. Houk
All text enclosed by brackets are added by the Editor with the hope bringing clarity from an American perspective.
 
© Shamim Masih
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