A LITTLE ABOUT BPCA?

Our vision is to create a network of Pakistanis united in Christ, focused on better quality of life, fellowship and religious freedom for Christians in Pakistan and the UK.

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About us

The British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) was born from a single event – in the ashes of churches and homes razed to the ground by a horde of Islamist thugs who persecuted Pakistani followers of Jesus Christ. It happened in the city of Gojra on August 1st 2009 when a married Christian couple were wrongly accused of using torn shreds of the Koran as confetti at their wedding. This false rumour grew in popularity following a hate message preached by a local mosque. Mob violence then led to the deaths of nine innocent people, 100 destroyed homes and two churches set on fire.

This incident pinpointed the need for a body such as the BPCA to highlight the ongoing abuse of Christians in Pakistan. Believers in the country face regular persecution under a so-called, 'Blasphemy Law' by the wider community including a lack of employment and constitutional rights; child slavery and forced labour; the rape and forced marriages of women; the imprisonment of believers for their faith; destruction of churches and even death.

Creating a voice for Pakistani Christians

This incident pinpointed the need for a body such as the BPCA to highlight the ongoing abuse of Christians in Pakistan. Believers in the country face regular persecution under a so-called, 'Blasphemy Law' by the wider community including a lack of employment and constitutional rights; child slavery and forced labour; the rape and forced marriages of women; the imprisonment of believers for their faith; destruction of churches and even death.

Human Rights Watch reports (2015) that 60 people have been murdered after being accused of 'blasphemy' since 1990. Pakistan's penal code makes the death penalty mandatory for blasphemy although no one has yet been officially killed. Some 17 people are currently on death row for alleged blasphemy and another 19 people are serving life sentences.

BPCA was also begun to create a fellowship network for Pakistani believers and promote their needs to the wider secular community. We have raised the plight of Pakistani Christians in the worldwide media by protest actions such as a number of campaign marches from the Pakistan Embassy to Downing Street in London.

Political pressure pushing for reform of the Blasphemy Laws of Pakistan has also increased following the meeting of multi-faith delegations, including BPCA, with both the High Commissioner of Pakistan and MEP Jean Lambert, South Asian Delegate to the European Union. BPCA leaders have also taken part in media debates with appearances on several TV and radio programmes.

The result of this hard work was the announcement of an amendment to the Blasphemy Law during a Federal Government hearing in Pakistan in early 2010. Shahbaz Bhatti, Minister for Minorities, gave a positive report of the amendment progressing during his visit to the UK in July 2010. The only Christian member of the Pakistani Cabinet, his assassination in 2011 slammed the door shut on any reforms.

Other needs in Pakistan are always a focus for the BPCA. We have helped give humanitarian aid to flooding victims; supported Asia Bibi, a mum-of-two on death row for her faith; and been a shoulder to cry on for the suffering families affected by the hatred and violence of extremist communities in the country. Our aim is to establish projects to make the lives of Christians safer, equal and free from persecution in Pakistan.