Christian Struggle to Keep Faith


Muslim Master over non-Muslim Dhimmi

Shamim sent this Christian activist editorial a few days ago. Due to other projects I am a bit behind in reading my email which includes writers and reporters submitting articles to this blog.

 

Due to finding out that Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi having yet another appeal from a death sentence due to a Blasphemy Law conviction, this editorial is extremely apropos. There are Muslim nations with a larger population of Christians than Pakistan and so the very limited American media coverage of Christian persecution almost always ignores the horrendous treatment of Christians in Pakistan. I would hazard to guess that Christians in Pakistan as a whole receive worse treatment than other Christians in Muslim dominated nations if for no other reason than being treated in a marginalized manner in the literalist Islamic tradition of dhimmitude.

 

JRH 10/18/14

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Christian Struggle to Keep Faith

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent 10/15/2014 1:25 PM

 

ISLAMABAD: Yaqoob Masih, 50, begins his day before sunrise. He has been a Rawalpindi Development Authority – RDA employee for around the last 15 years. He and his wife rarely make [enough] to cover their residence and to deal with [the] livings for their 5 children.

 

Yaqoob Masih - Pakistan Christian Sanitation worker

 

Yaqoob Masih – Pakistani Christian Sanitation Worker

 

 

Pushing an overloaded wheelbarrow and gasping for breath, this individual rings a single doorbell [after another and] following one more to recover almost any [kind of] crap during the day. He separates plastic bottles, cardboards, material bits and other recyclable stuff in various chambers and bags dangling from his trolley.

 

He has not enrolled his children in school, the eldest [child] is free to look after the younger ones while both parents are away at work. He feels extremely guilty about not being able to send his children to school.  He said with a melancholy look on his tired face that sometimes I am asked to work on Sundays due to [the] shortage of sanitary workers but he cannot afford to leave his job.

 

Pakistan came into being as a homeland for Muslims, at the time of partition, most of the Hindus fled to India. A small remnant stayed on here, hoping to continue to live peacefully as before. But the Christians remained here by their own will. But now they become isolated and neglected in [the] Muslims’ country. Coming mainly from the lowest strata of the social order, they have been increasingly marginalized and isolated, their privileges withdrawn. A devastating blow was struck when the government nationalized many of the Christian colleges and schools in early 70s. Thus Christians were left with few opportunities for education or progress in the modern world.

 

A minority in a Muslim homeland, they’re demonized and barred from equal opportunities. Although no official statistics are available but half of the Christians in Pakistan are below the age of [their] 20s and most of them have no access to an education. The pressure of extreme poverty forces many families to send their children to work to bring in any small amount of money to feed the family. Children, some even below the age of 10, work with their parents in the brick kilns and other parental jobs. Pakistani Christians of this segment are open to severe exploitation, and many end up unemployed, become drug addicts or are abused in the sex trade and start illegal alcohol selling. Many Christians live in villages or in city slums, where they live together largely for their own security. Thus the environment becomes extremely unsafe and socially hazardous. The growing menace of drug abuse has rendered the streets of slums extremely vulnerable for growing children.

 

Minorities should not be limited to sanitary duties; they deserve to be given equal rights and proportionate employment in various government and semi-government departments. They have been facing forced conversions, arson attacks, enforced displacements, blasphemy allegations, attacks on worship places and killings at the hands of religious extremists for many years. And still Pakistani children are taught that Jews are tightfisted moneylenders and Christian’s vengeful conquerors – all in textbooks approved by the administration. There are blasphemy laws, which carry a penalty of life imprisonment and even death – often without evidence or penalty for false accusations. We now have military generals who are Christian. Still, minority religions face inordinate dangers.

 

Be Blessed,

 

Shamim Masih

Diplomatic Correspondent

Daily Khabrian – in Urdu (PakBiz.com description – in English) & Channel – 5

Human Rights Activist

 

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 by the Editor.

 

© Shamim Masih

 

Sixteen Years; Way to Prosperity


Sajid Ishaq 2 - Interfaith Christmas Dinner 2013

Sajid Ishaq – Interfaith Christmas Dinner 2013

 

 

Shamim is reporting on a remarkable solution to educate the Christian poor that treated like the scum of the earth by Pakistan’s Muslim majority. The central point of any success is the ability local Christian leadership (Clergy and Laity) unite to engage in this idea that Shamim reports is proposed by Pakistan Interfaith League (PIL) Chairman Sajid Ishaq (Link with info but might be dated).

 

JRH 8/26/14

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Sixteen Years; Way to Prosperity

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 8/25/2014 9:13 PM

 

ISLAMABAD: Christians had the largest education and health system in Pakistan at the time of partition until the civil dictator Z. A. Bhutto nationalized their institutions. Now you can see the incredulous hypocrisy of Pakistan’s school system especially as it affects religious minorities and worse, the girls of these minorities.  This segment of our society remains uneducated and indulged in household jobs. They are being sexually harassed and then being forced to convert to Islam. Girls from the minority go to public school and face discrimination. Minority students are not only forced to study Islamic studies but forced to do manual jobs like cleaning in the school while other students remain in the class rooms.  Iffat Nasim, headmistress of the Government Khadija Girls High School in Rawalpindi, is reportedly involved in extra-educational activities by indulging the Christian students in cleaning/washing classrooms, toilets, verandas/corridors for hours and preparing burgers/buns for Muslim students for earning money for her. Despite the intentions of the Pakistani government, the educational system has failed to eradicate illiteracy in the post-independence era. It has also failed to train an adequate number of professionals to meet the needs of the country in different fields, which has been a major hindrance to the nation’s economic development. The above mentioned is one example as there is series of this type of characters.

 

But still Christian’s missionary institutions have a large network in the country and they can serve better to the nations. Sajid Ishaq, chairman Pakistan Interfaith League (PIL) is eager to educate the youth of the Pakistani Christians. Talking about the recent situation in the country and future of the Pakistani minorities, he said education is the key to save future of the Christian’s youth. The Chairman [of the] PIL shared his plan to educate the Christian youth and said that this is evident in the cities established by the British, such as the port city of Karachi where majestic St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Pakistan’s largest church, stands, and the churches in the cities of Peshawar, Lahore and Rawalpindi where the British established a major military cantonment. European and wealthy native Christians established colleges, churches, hospitals and schools in cities like Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi and Peshawar.

 

He [Sajid Ishaq] said that since Christian students are being ignored and remain uneducated and thus they cannot enter into the main stream. He requested the church administrations of the country, if they [could] allow him to use their premises in the evening to educate the Christian youth throughout the country. He further claimed that he has collected the drop-out data and has planned to teach them in the evening classes. According to his plan, he can arrange the teaching classes for the poor Pakistani Christian students if the church administrations allow him to use the buildings of the schools, colleges in the evening. He said with the limited budget we can reach to the unreached children of the Pakistani Christians. And thus after sixteen years, we will have a new educated lot of the Christian youth.

 

Despite the fact of the differences between us, we need to focus to address the severe conditions of the Pakistani Christians. Since Christians are being persecuted under severe conditions, all the prominent Christian leadership should stand shoulder-to-shoulder with each other. Each and every person in charge or claim to be; should take the responsibility to teach at least Christian students for a better future generation. Educational institutions with a religious background should take interest and focus on the deserving students.

 

Be Blessed,

 

Shamim Masih

______________________________

Edited by John R. Houk

All text enclosed in brackets are by the Editor

 

© Shamim Masih

Special Correspondents

Daily Khabrian (PakBiz.com description) & Channel – 5

Human Rights Activist

 

Snapshot of Human Rights Activism from 2011

Christian Rights Activist
Freelance Journalist 

Secretary General of Information

Pakistan Christian Congress

 

Shamim Masih’s Donate/Support info:

 

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

 

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Australia support dialogue with Taliban, says Peter Heyward


Peter Heyward, Australian High Commissioner in Islamabad

Shamim writes about Australian interest of investing in Pakistan natural resources. Shamim does not mention the scenario specifically but I am guessing his excitement is in the potential of Australian investment in providing better paying jobs for impoverished Christians under constant persecution in Pakistan. Although Australian investment would be good for the Pakistan economy I am not as optimistic as Shamim is that it would benefit the impoverished Christians that are viewed on the very low wrung of Pakistani society. Peter Heyward, Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan provides the hopeful scenario for Shamim in an interview. This is what Heyward is telling his fellow Australian when visiting home.
 
Just to give a little context about the Pakistan mentality: Shamim mentions the sport cricket in this article. You should be aware that the sport of cricket is very huge in Pakistan. Cricket stars are placed on a comparable high platform as perhaps NFL, NBA, MLB and so on are in the USA.
 
JRH 11/4/13

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Australia support dialogue with Taliban, says Peter Heyward
 
By Shamim Masih
Sent: 11/3/2013 3:05 PM
 
ISLAMABAD: Australia supports dialogue with the Taliban to keep peace in the country said Peter Heyward, Australian High Commissioner in Islamabad. Talking to Shamim Masih he said that Australia has offered to invest in the vast coal reserves of Pakistan. We are interested in the mining, energy and agriculture sector of Pakistan. The agriculture sectorShamim Masih, interviews Peter Heyward, Australian High Commissioner in Islamabad is one of the big contributors in Pakistan’s economy and our companies are interested to invest in this sector.  We support Pakistan in different sectors including energy. Coal is our specialty and Australian had been using coal for years, so we can Pakistan in this sector as well. Our experts are working in mines in Baluchistan. A terrorist attack on Sri Lankan cricket team has blocked doors of international cricketers in Pakistan. Pakistan and India should resolve their issues through dialogue including Kashmir dispute.
 
Peter Heyward, Australian High Commissioner visited Daily Khabrian & Channel – 5 in Islamabad. Heyward said that Pakistan is facing the destructive situation of terrorism in the country and Australia supports the dialogue process to resolve the issues. Although Australia is part of allied forces in Afghanistan but none of the Australian officials are engaged with the Taliban. He said many Australian troops left and the rest will leave by the end of 2014, while some of the US troops will remain there.
 
Heyward invited Pakistani business people to visit Australia to hold investment conferences and seminars for matchmaking of the investor communities of both sides. He said we are reluctant in providing visa to business men.
 
He affirmed the on-going bilateral treaties between Pakistan and Australia which are being proceeded to facilitate the investment and trade prospects. He briefly described about the investment possibilities in Pakistan and also mentioned the special economic zones which are an investor friendly incentive.
 
Peter Heyward said that he has presented a soft image of Pakistan to Australian business people and won [them] over to invest in Pakistan.  He has visited and met the business community of the country. Australian cows and sheep are popular in Pakistan and this breed is introduced. Australian companies are now engaged in Pakistan and are working in different sectors including energy, electronics etc. in Pakistan. Australian experts are now exploring gold, silver and other mines in Baluchistan, he added.
 
High commissioner said that Australia is a peaceful country and I feel proud to be here. Pakistan is full of natural resources; the government should pay full attention to explore these resources to bring prosperity in the country. If these resources are worked efficiently we can alleviate poverty [in Pakistan].  
 
Be Blessed,
Shamim Masih
____________________________
Edited by John R. Houk
 
© Shamim Masih
Snapshot of Human Rights Activism from 2011
Christian Rights Activist
Freelance Journalist
 
Secretary General 
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