We are thrilled to be working toward sponsoring a new refugee family coming to Canada. This family of four escaped religious persecution in Pakistan and have been living in East Asia. This family is currently being unofficially supported by a local church community where they are living. Unable to work, they are living in very challenging conditions, navigating life in a new country with limited resources and fully depending on God to survive.
Christians make up 1.6 % of the Pakistan population. They are usually found to be living in the poorest areas of Pakistan. This is primarily because of discrimination making it difficult to acquire good paying jobs. Aware of the circumstances for people in these communities, traffickers will target young Christian girls and have been seen driving around church areas with nefarious goals.
In recent years, Islamic militants have increasingly targeted Christians.There have been bombings and executions, and raids with militants going into communities and destroying or burning down homes. If you are found to be a follower of Christ, you may then be accused of blasphemy and are sought out by the militants. Should you be arrested, the penalty for blasphemy against Islam is usually death or life imprisonment. Those sentenced to death are usually punished publicly by hanging. If you are accused and acquitted, your life is still ruined, as you and your family now become the target, of Islamic militants.
WE WANTED TO SHARE PART OF THIS FAMILY’S STORY, IN THEIR OWN WORDS…
I grew up in a family with 5 brothers and sisters. Our father converted from Christianity to Islam. He associated himself with Muslim radical groups that encouraged Jihad militancy. Despite this, our mother continued to practice her Christian faith privately in our home, and taught us about Christianity. Our father insisted that our behaviour and activities were to only follow rigid Muslim practices, but in my heart I loved my mother's teachings.
Things took a turn for the worse in our home when my eldest sister married a Christian man. Our father was shocked and people began to look at my family with hatred.
I met my wife at church and married in 2008. I wanted to leave my home, but because of my mom I felt I couldn't leave. When I brought my wife home, my father beat me, because she is a Christian. We gained some peace by telling him that she would soon convert to Islam, so for a time there was peace.
After our children were born my father grew more impatient, as he wanted them raised in the teachings of Islam. He began inviting Islamic scholars into our home regularly for teachings.
We soon became known by some radicals as Christians, and began receiving death threats. Sometimes men would stop me on the road and beat me while reciting the Islamic Qalma. I was regularly told that I was an infidel and didn't have the right to raise my children. Demanding that they have an Islamic education or we would be killed. We had, had enough, and feared for the safety of our children, so we left my father's home, and began to look for another country to escape to.
One evening in March of 2014, my father, with some other armed men, forced their way into our home, and almost beat us to death. Demanding that we hand over our children or be killed. By the grace of God, we were in a more populated Christian area, and people heard our cries and came to help. The next day we found a paper on our doorstep from an Islamic institution, stating we should bear the death penalty for having adopted another religion. We left immediately.
The Lord made it possible for us to enter another country, but with no legal status things are very difficult. Thankfully a local church has helped us meet our daily needs.In January of 2017 the UN started processing our case and we have now been given asylum seeker status.I am praying to God that I can settle in a country where my children have basic human rights and can live life without any fear or threat.
We are still looking for additional volunteers to join our committee. Meetings are held every other month to plan fundraising events and plan for the family’s arrival. When the family arrives team members will provide support with getting them settled in their new home. This may include helping to arrange various documents needed, driving them to initial appointments, helping them learn about life in Winnipeg. As well, we need help getting this family to Canada. If you would like to donate towards the sponsorship of this family, please use the link below.
June 7, 2019
Save the date! We will be hosting a Trivia Night fundraiser on Saturday, September 28th at 7pm.
We have put together a committee of people to oversee the refugee project to sponsor this family. We are looking for more people who would be interested in joining our team.