Forced Conversion


In America when a person calls another a Judas, that person is considered a once trusted person who has betrayed that trust. The term comes from the Apostle Judas Iscariot that betrayed Jesus the Son of God to the greedy for power running the Jewish Sanhedrin. (Just for clarification – this is NOT a blame-the-Jews moment but rather a blame those greedy for power moment.)

Christian Pakistanis are desperate to find a political leader that works to increase the civil rights of Christians and take a stand against the Muslim vicious persecution of Christians. You would think Christian Pakistanis would find trusted leadership among their better-off fellow Christians, right? Shamim Masih writes about the reality that way too many Christians in leadership positions and Ministry/Clergy positions are more concerned about protecting their privileged station in Pakistan rather than looking out for the interests of the poorer Christians experiencing the havoc of Islamic Supremacism that denigrates Christian Pakistanis.

[Please be supportive of Shamim Masih’s Christian and human rights work in Pakistan:

The best way to SUPPORT Shamim’s Christian advocacy in Pakistan 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 11/20/15

Please Support NCCR

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Forced Conversion

Fighting with Words against Judas Iscariots of Today

By Shamim Masih

Sent 11/20/2015 2:10 AM

ISLAMABAD: A few days back, I saw a tent outside the National Press Club, Islamabad. There a Christian couple with children has converted to Islam and was looking for financial help. The newly converted Muslim family has posted a written request that asked help from the President of Pakistan, Prime Minister of Pakistan, Chief Justice of Pakistan and Malik Riaz (a real estate tycoon [Express Tribune]). This is not the first time that such an incident happened, earlier many families have displaced the same banners and many of my colleagues are a witness to it.

Though the data is not available, but I guess around 95% Pakistani Christians are living under or below the poverty line and situations much

worse in remote areas as Christians are living in bounded slavery. Long ago before Indo-Pak partition, when missionaries came here and preached Christianity, a majority from poor class converted to Christianity. Certainly it happened due to the love and economic support by the missionaries. Missionaries established educational institutions and health care centers in this region.

When Pakistan came into being in 1947, history is witness to it that there were some Christians sitting on the top most positions in different sectors. But as soon as the real ideology was grabbed by Liaqat Ali Khan [Wikipedia] after the death [Dawn and Hamari Web] of the founder of the nation – Mohammad Ali Jinnah – Pakistan became the Islamic Republic [Friday Times] of Pakistan in 1956 [Calgary Centre for Global Community]. On 12 March, 1949, the second constituent assembly of Pakistan passed the objective resolution [Speech of Liaquat Ali Khan on the Objectives Resolution March 9 1949Scribd.] which was proposed by the first Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan, proclaiming that the future constitution of Pakistan would not be modeled entirely on a European pattern, but on the ideology and democratic faith of Islam. The promulgation of the constitution in 1956 led to Pakistan declaring itself an Islamic Republic (official name) with the adoption of parliamentary democratic system of government. The resignation letter [Wikipedia and Marvisirmed.com] of Jogendra Nath Mandal [The News on Sunday] in October 1950 clearly showed the hypocrisy of the Muslim leadership.

Missionaries established educational institutions to educate children from the lower class and hospitals for public care but after the mass exodus of missionaries from Pakistan, the sitting Christian leadership didn’t follow the same rules. Later when Zulifqar Ali Bhutto became the prime minister of Pakistan, he nationalized Christian institutions thus this chapter was closed. Since then neither clergy nor political leadership ever planned for the economic development of the Christians. Instead clergy remain busy in selling church properties and political leadership remains disloyal with the community [Christian Times and Religion-Online.org]. In the first week of November 2015, in the village of Punjab province, Chack number 228, (around 50 km away from the Faisalabad) an eight year old Christian girl was beaten [Breitbart] and locked in her school washroom by her head teacher for daring to use toilet meant for Muslim girls only.

In the recent few weeks dozens of Christian girls were kidnapped/rapped and forced to conversion [Pakistan Christian Post, CrossMap.com and News.va]. The head teacher in a village 30 kilometer away from the Punjab capital was brutally beaten up due to his faith by his subordinate. Still Pakistani leadership says that there is no discrimination and minorities are enjoying full rights in Pakistan. This is all due to the poor performance of the Christian leadership; and Pakistani Christians are still facing many problems. But the [Christian] clergy is busy in making money.

Secondly since the government of Pakistan has adopted joint electoral system for minorities of the country the local community is divided into different groups – a divide and rule policy being adopted. The PML-N present ruling party, in Punjab has not been able to provide protection to Christians, instead the rulers’ attitude towards Christian is discriminatory. Since the twin churches bomb blast in Youhanabad [HERE and HERE], many Christians are still in the prisons [Pakistan2days]. Dozens of the families are suffering due to the arrests of their family heads. [The is the case even] Though the government has not been able to prove its allegations against them and therefore inmates and their families are suffering. In this incident, one Christian parliamentarian has reportedly betrayed the community and had shown his loyalty with his party. The same has been happening for the last decade.

Christians of Pakistan need better leadership and unity at the local level. There are people with potential to do something but they don’t have resources. But there are people, with no vision but resources, they are wasting them and have set their priorities. Education, economic uplift programs need to adopted. And to discourage the hypocrites and self-centered personals.

There are also some so-called leaders among Pakistani Christians that mislead the world and present a cool and calm situation in Pakistan for Pakistani Christians. Most recently one religious leader and so-called political leader has attended and presented a report and denied any oppression or persecution of religious minorities by the government and local people [Pakistan Christian Post]. This type of people are betrayers and have sold out our nation, they do not want anyone to expose them. These are the Judas Iscariots of today and we need to stand against them. But I believe that youngsters of [our] nation have realized [that many Christian leaders are corrupt] and will reject them and will stand with truth and right.

The European Union has taken in millions refugees from Syria, Egypt and other countries of the Middle East. Now extremists among those refugees are reportedly involved in creating disturbance in the EU [Express and WSJ] and UK. The EU and UNHCR are very open about [Muslim] refugees from the Middle East. Yet these EU countries always discourage Pakistani Christians. And [these EU leaders are] taking measures against Christian asylum seekers from Pakistan. As a Pakistani Christian, I urge Pakistani Christians to stand together and join hands together against the crooked and self-centered so-called [Christian] leadership.

The best way to SUPPORT Shamim’s Christian advocacy in Pakistan is via Western Union sending money with this LINK to a Western Union agent in Islamabad. Include Shamim’s phone – +92-300-642-4560

Be Blessed,

Shamim Masih

Correspondent, Pakistan Today – (About Pakistan Today), Blogger and Human Rights Activist

_________________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Text or links enclosed with brackets are by the Editor.

© Shamim Masih

Feeling So Lonely


Judas kisses Jesus 4. Ari McHenry and Jabari McHenry

 

Intro: Feeling So Lonely

Edited by John R. Houk

© November 23, 2013

 

Shamim Masih about the complete travesty of the persecution of Christians in Pakistan. I posted an editorial from journalist Lubna Thomas Benjamin a couple of days ago who touched on the same issue. Shamim delves more into the specifics including the disposition of his circumstances of life in Pakistan. Not only is poverty and discrimination rampant in Pakistan, but the local Christian leadership appears to be corrupt taking donations from the West and not distributing to the needs of the poverty stricken Christian victims of poverty and Islamic violence. Most recently, but by no means a singularity, the All Saints Church in Peshawar was blown up by a couple of homicidal-suicide bombers causing deaths in the hundreds. The poorer victims of that Muslim attack have not received any consolation from the Church leadership, BUT the friends, family and Christian elites involved in the victimhood have received spiritual and monetary consolation.

 

Adding to the this inter-Christian class struggle is that there seems to be a turf war between some Church leadership that united with other denominations and the original Church leadership of the Lutheran denomination that claim the victims are a part of their diocese. The idiocy of the turf war comes down to which diocese should receive the donations from Western sources for the situation.

 

I am having difficulty in understanding exactly who Shamim is critical of in this controversy; however he names that a Bishop Humphrey Peters wrote a letter to Christian-Pakistani activist Wilson Chaudhry that he is the authentic Bishop and that donations should come to him. When I attempted to discern who the bad guy was, the information I found is that there is also a Bishop Peter Majeed. Here is the info on Peter Majeed:

 

In August 2008, St Paul’s withdrew from the Diocese of Peshawar when Mr. Majeed was consecrated as Bishop of the Northern Diocese Mardan by the former Church of Pakistan Bishop of Karachi, the Rt. Rev. Arne Rudvin.

 

Bishop Rudvin, who had been the Lutheran Bishop of Mardan before the Lutheran Church joined Anglicans to form the United Church of Pakistan, consecrated Bishop Majeed to re-establish the Lutheran succession in Pakistan.  He justified his actions by claiming the Church of Pakistan was corrupt and had succumbed to Western liberalism.

 

The August 2008 issue of the Diocese of Peshawar newspaper said the attempt to reestablish a Lutheran church in Pakistan was not recognized by the diocese’s European partners.  The Danmission, the Norwegian Mission Society, the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission, and the Church of Scotland had “condemned the totally illegal consecration” and did not recognize Bishop Majeed’s claims.

 

On Sept 7, 2008 Bishop Majeed was installed as bishop and took possession of St Paul’s Church in Mardan, Bishop Rudvin’s former see. On Sept 19, a Pakistani court permitted Bishop Majeed to keep possession of the colonial era church and its adjacent properties.  However, the Diocese of Peshawar has appealed the ruling. (READ ENTIRETY; Bomb blast destroys Pakistani church: The Church of England Newspaper, Sept 17, 2010 p 8; By geoconger [i.e. George Conger]; Conger; 9/20/10)

 

I have dug up some contrasting information on the Peshawar Diocese funding and it appears that could be an entirely different post than the article from Shamim Masih. If you are interested about the inter-Christian squabble in troubled Pakistan here are some links to get you started:

 

o   So Called Bishop Peter Majeed is a Cheater

 

o   Appeal For Help – Northern Diocese Mardan

 

o   Diocese of Peshawar

 

o   Corruption of the Diocese of Peshawar

 

o   Tag Archives: Christianity in Pakistan

 

o   Christian groups fight over church funds in Mardan

 

Consider this an intro to Shamim’s “Feeling So Lonely.”

 

JRH 11/23/13

Please Support NCCR

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Feeling So Lonely

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 11/22/2013 8:07 PM

 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan – with a Muslim majority, the country’s Christian population is quite small, about 3-5 percent is Christian. Among them, 98% are living below poverty line. In rural areas, they live under the pressure of their landlords and in urban areas most of them work as laborers and could barely make ends meet. In the capital, Christians live around the seasonal drainage and flood during raining seasons. I know I cannot eradicate poverty or change their social status. Churches and Parishes are busy in making incredible profit by getting donations and selling religious properties to the public, charging for community services. If the church manages [their] funds properly they could easily change their status. But they do not want to do it. Let me say religious leaders have become autocrats and the West is busy in filling filthy buckets. In this situation, I am the only voice among these big bosses and feel so lonely and scared. I do not write for money but for the rights of Christians; money matters to meet the daily needs. I write for the people who suffer for nothing, Christians are the marginalized segment of the society, like me. God fearing Westerners are sending donations for these people to change their living standard but it didn’t reach them and their living remains at the same level. I ever endeavor to reach everywhere, there is turmoil; sometimes I don’t even have the money to travel and I have to borrow it to reach [a report location]. Yes, British Pakistani Christian Association – BPCA shares my travel expenses to some extent.  Due to the disconnection of internet services I couldn’t publish anything during last couple of weeks. During the meantime, one of my friends (not mentioning his name) asked me to write for him, I told him the exact situation. And instead of support he suggested me to do it for him during my office timings.

 

Lying in bed on a lazy winter evening during the curfew in the city of Rawalpindi, due the tense situation in November 2013, something dark and nasty reached out to me and my wife said it is embarrassing that when you are working on a noble cause while the response is not overwhelming. The challenging thing is that most of us do not offer the same kind of kindness to others, that we [reserve] for ourselves. People look forward to do a lot for them but don’t bother if I am in trouble. Doing journalism in a country like Pakistan, which is dominated by Muslim religious extremists, is not easy, especially when you write about religious minorities. Pakistan is perhaps ranked the third most dangerous country for reporting. The country also has one of the highest numbers of journalists threatened, kidnapped and killed.

 

My aim is to create a peaceful environment in the society and to help eliminate human rights violation/persecution through my writing as I bring the plight of those brave people under spotlight of the whole world. It’s not my aim to write and [do] anything against or to blackmail anyone but to highlight the facts is my responsibility. In this situation; black sheep feel uncomfortable and they blame me in many ways. Someone wrote an email to the chief editor of Pakistan Christian Post (PCP) most recently and [a] year back [as well], Bishop Humphrey Peter(s) wrote to Wilson Chaudhry; claiming that he is real bishop of Mardan church and funds should go to him and it is proven that that real culprit is.

 

Pakistan, where those working to change an incredibly hostile climate for free speech have found themselves under fierce attack. So in this situation journalists do not dare to write about these activities but I do. Being a Christian journalist, it is indeed become more dangerous to write on minorities’ issues. Many newsrooms forbid their journalists from reporting these kinds of incidents. So it happens with me as well. Apart from my routine work, I usually write on minorities issues. So during my working with different papers in the country (knowingly I [am] not mentioning the names), my editor told me to keep it a low profile or stop it for a while, and if I had to, it [i.e. articles] would go without a byline.

 

I wish; I can provide education to those who cannot afford it otherwise. I feel so lonely because I am the only voice for my people and people who are in position to support this cause do not care. The situation is really discouraging; I see my future is timorous. It’s really discouraging. 

 

Below are the few links:

 

https://oneway2day.wordpress.com/2013/11/04/australia-support-dialogue-with-taliban-says-peter-heyward/

 

https://oneway2day.wordpress.com/2013/11/03/another-blasphemy-case-registered-christians-are-under-threat/

 

http://slantedright2.blogspot.com/2013/07/christian-couple-arrested-in-gojra-in.html#.Unhe93DO7E1

 

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/aug/02/christians-burned-alive-pakistan

 

http://slantedright2.blogspot.com/2013/03/another-blasphemy-law-victim-is-sawan.html#.UnhfF3DO7E1

 

http://slantedright2.blogspot.com/2012/11/islamabad-high-court-ihc-dismissed-fir.html#.Unhe1HDO7E1 

 

Be Blessed,

 

Shamim Masih

Special Correspondents

Daily Khabrian & Channel – 5

Human Rights Activist

____________________________________

Intro: Feeling So Lonely

Edited by John R. Houk

© November 23, 2013

______________________________

Feeling So Lonely

 

Edited by John R. Houk

Brackets indicate editorial additions hopefully bringing clarity.

 

© Shamim Masih

Snapshot of Human Rights Activism from 2011

Christian Rights Activist
Freelance Journalist
 

 

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