This article by the Lahore Times criticizes the international relief agencies but points to Rescue Christians as an exception (I put in bold where it talks about our organization):
Help persecuted Christians in Pakistan; is a slogan of many INGOs working on persecution.
The general perception among Pakistani Muslims that UN, USAID, Christian diplomats and other foreigners are helping Pakistani Christians, but the reality is different. We have given the facts like;
On February 6, 1997, a religiously charged mob attacked village Shantinagar, district Khanewal in which about 800 houses including churches, hostels were torched. In November 2005, in Sangla Hill, about 100 Christian houses, schools, hostels, and Christian Clinic were burnt. On 1st August 2009, Christians were attacked in Gujra and 8 persons of a family were burnt alive and about 130 houses were turned to ashes. On30th June, 2000, Christians were attacked in village Bahnamiwala, District Kasur in which about 102 houses were destroyed. On 21st September, 2012, Church, school and pastors residences were turned to ash. On March 9, 2013, over 200 homes of the Christians community of Joseph Colony in Lahore were burnt and the most recent Francis Abad, a Christian colony was attacked in Gujranwala.
Ironically none was punished under the law for such gory episode; these barbaric attacks have sent a grave message to the already marginalized Christians. The sense of insecurity has alarmingly grown beyond proportions. The blasphemy law has been repeatedly used for settling personal scores, religious persecution, professional rivalry and for land grabbling.
This is not the end; large numbers of Christians accused of Blasphemy cases getting their lives rusted in the jails for years and years and there is no future to their children or other family members.
We are freelance journalist, Christian by faith and a social activist working for a democratic, tolerant and progressive social order and for socio economic and political rights of religious minorities especially for the Christians of Pakistan. We have devotedly served in the field of human rights during the last decade and have been raising their issues, persecutions, and rights through my writings, without any support.
Role of our churches, local and International NGOs: It’s time to think twice that what NGOs under, Church umbrella and Christian social and political leadership are doing? Where all funds are going which Christian civil society, Churches have been receiving in the name of poor Christians. How many Christian institutions are facilitating Persecuted Christian? Why western governments are denying visas to acquitted blasphemy victims? It made me to think; are USAID, UN, even Church World Service and many such organizations are only for Muslims in Pakistan? USAID, their slogan is “From the American People” is all American people donating for Muslims? If not, then why Christian youth is not receiving scholarships for education, funds for business, employment in their offices? Why there is no program for Christian youth? Why western human rights champions keep silent on rape and enforced conversion of Christian women? They only publish such news on their blogs to collect millions of dollars. Some of them claim that they are actively working in Pakistan and Other Islamic Countries where Christian are being persecuted because of their faith. But the truth on ground is very different.
Why a common Christian has no reach to embassies and if someone applies for visa, why is he/she refused, because, a poor Christian has no property and no strong background? Isn’t it? Why UNO is silent on killing of Christians and attacks on Christians worship places? Millions of Christians are crying in Pakistan against blasphemy law, discriminatory laws in the constitution of the country, extrajudicial killings, wrongful confinements and discrimination if different shapes but UNO seems silent.
It’s just an example; We worked for “People to People International” PTPI and didn’t receive even a single penny on the other hand a Muslim guy running a chapter named “Punjab chapter” in Gujranwala Pakistan, have got thousands of dollars and have done nothing on ground. He got visas dozens of times and taken many Muslims with him to many other countries dozens of times. We applied visa for US in 2010 and was refused because we don’t have heaving bank account and huge property to show them, not only this but my “Islamabad Chapter” was revoked just because of this reason, that US embassy has refused your visa and it made bad impression on our name. (Should we asked them, are you paying my tickets or offered my free board and lodging?)
In all UN and USAID offices in Pakistan, there are 90% Muslim employs and 99% of them are Pathans. Delegates used to hire Muslims coordinators for their documentary work during their stay in Pakistan.
No one dare to ask to NGOs ILAP or its donor agency, governed under Christian supervision in Islamabad, that how many Christian employs they have? When they claim that they are helping Pakistani poor Christians. No one bother to pursue when Christian institutions in Rawalpindi pushed out Christian students for not paying their fees. Are these institutions are just for business purposes or is there any sense of security/realization for Christians students? How many Christian’s students are studying in Jesus and Marry Convent in Islamabad/Rawalpindi Pakistan? We don’t have right to ask our Christian politicians, what they have done for Pakistani Christians. As they were selected ones, they didn’t come in through their votes but through paying huge funds (collected on poor Christians name) to Muslims Parties and this practice is still going on……. They are so many Christians looking for gate way through paying funds to Muslim political parties.
It’s not long when the relentless incidents within period of one month like Joseph Colony, burnt in Lahore by Muslim extremist mob protesting against blasphemy case and Francis Abad Gujranwala incident in early days of April, 2013. There are plenty of Pakistani organizations claiming that they are helping Pakistani Christians and eliminating persecutions in the country and many international organizations claiming the same.
Still Christians in Pakistan are deprived of their basic human rights that count expression of freedom, and basic social and legal rights but they are outnumbered by influential culprits who always get security in sake of observance of their religion. Usually INGOs claim that they are helping Pakistan through the generosity.
On the other hand; only few are providing safe-houses, food, and various assistances to persecuted Christians in Pakistan.
Blasphemy laws, forced conversion, rape and abduction are at a very high level in Pakistani society. Only few local organizations provide legal assistance and safe houses for the victims of religious persecution in Pakistan. While international organizations collect huge funds on persecution but deliver a little, like providing Bible, Gospel books, some food items, etc. Whereas Christians and other Religious Minorities are looking for some serious steps should be taken rather than these materialistic accessories
While, surfing on Internet we found one latest appeal made by international organization on poor Pakistani Christian name.
Given link: http://www.persecution.com/actionpacks requested material for poor Pakistani; an action pack which included; blanket, jacket, light sweater, gloves and knit hat, etc for these persecuted and vulnerable Christians.
It’s quite surprising, “need assessment” is the first step taken in any organization. We couldn’t understand, if these people had worked on it, and then asking for these items. What we see here instead of the action pack INGO better take serious steps like reallocation, legal assistance, and protection the persecuted Christians. Helping Pakistani Christians through providing these material things is good but it’s not permanent solution to the problems.
It doesn’t mean that every INGO is just point securing, there are organizations like :US based organization “Rescue Christians” is working on ground realities worldwide and their expats are assessing the needs and seemed serious in helping Pakistani Christians according to their need.
Pakistani Christians are working on to eliminate the violence against religious minorities and we should take some serious steps on it, interfaith harmony, cross cultural dialogue and mutual understanding is required to be addressed.
The Lahore Times Read more: http://www.lhrtimes.com/2013/05/04/reforms-are-not-seen-the-situation-is-crucial-and-getting-alarming/#ixzz2SMD0mb4Z
Posted by Theodore Shoebat