Floods, Persecution Crisis Grows in Pakistan
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, August 16, 2010 - Christians here, who have been suffering a new a wave of terror from Islamic extremists and criminals, are now facing terrible flooding. They are desperately in need of more emergency help now. The Christians in many areas are under a virtual state of siege according to eye-witness reports from indigenous missionaries in Pakistan.
"The crisis aid we sent in July for survivors of the persecution in Faisalabad got through and is making a big difference," says the Christian Aid director for South Asia, but there are now many more needs in Pakistan. This is all made more urgent by the worst flooding in 80 years.
More than 1,500 people have died and 200,000 Christian families are among the 20 million affected by the disaster. Three million are homeless. The flooding began in the frontier regions of Peshawar, northwest Pakistan and across the border in Taliban-infested Afghanistan. However, they have now spread downward throughout the country.
Christian Aid Mission had established an emergency fund to help care for survivors after Pastor Rashid Emmanuel and his brother were murdered during a court appearance in Faisalabad, Pakistan last month. The brothers were brought to court under draconian blasphemy laws designed to persecute Christians and other minorities. Since then, the needs have expanded beyond persecution.
Those wishing to help the widows, orphans and other survivors of anti-Christian violence in Pakistan and the flood victims may give online or send contributions to Christian Aid Mission, Box 9037, Charlottesville, VA 22906. Gifts should be designated to fund code 470PERS.
"Native missionaries are grateful for the help we are sending but the needs are increasing every day - we must send more help," said the director.
Most of the central provinces have been flooded including the rich agricultural heartland of Punjab. Bridges are out everywhere downstream, and in some places, like the Swat Valley, all the bridges are gone! There is a growing fear that cholera will spread and the reconstruction will take years.
Meanwhile, there is still a need for ongoing relief to thousands of Christian families who were burned out of their homes and shops during the organized persecution campaigns that began last month.
After the murders of the Emmanuel brothers by masked gunmen, thousands of Muslims went on a rampage in the nearby Christian communities of Warispura and Daunagar. Automatic weapons fire and rioting continued for days and Christian lawyers say the police did nothing to stop the looting of Christian shops and homes.
Christian leaders begged Christian Aid to alert Christians in America and around the world to pray for them - and response is starting to arrive.
The Christian brothers were falsely accused of posting blasphemous posters at a local train station by the single witness of Khurram Shahzad, a Muslim man. The posters were later proven to be forgeries by police investigators.
The Emmanuel brothers had headed a non-profit organization called the United Ministries Pakistan located in the Warispura Christian community of Faisalabad.
Almost daily over the last month, threats of violence and physical attacks have occurred against Christian Pakistanis. Several other reports of killings and burnings have been documented from various parts of the country and in nearby Afghanistan since this current anti-Christian persecution began.
"We will continue to send help to both the flood victims and persecuted believers in Pakistan," said the Field Director for South Asia, "just as we have for many years."
Click here to help persecuted believers and flood victims in Pakistan.
Christian Aid Mission