In Pakistan, on September 22, 2013, more than 125 people died and around 170 injured in a bomb attack on All Saints Church, Peshawar. Taliban, or one of their affiliate groups, had gone to St. Dominic’s Church in Bahawalpur in October 2001, shot the guard at the gate and then killed 15 people in the congregation. It was the first mass-killing of Christians in the history of Pakistan. Then, Jihadists are ever more brazen in their determination to target Christians. But still, US President and other leaders in the West – though remembering the victims and acknowledging the evil in passing, are not making any concerted effort to make this particular slaughter of innocents a foreign policy priority.
Persecution and poverty are terrible things in Pakistan and at WVIP,“meeting the needs of our people is our priority. We try to minimize the devastating effects of the homelessness and hunger by providing nutritious meals and safe environment,” said Farrukh H Saif, Executive Director World Vision in Progress.
I have been covering the minority issues; Pakistani Christians facing persecution for three decade or so. During my visits across the country, I meet many human rights activists. Many people used to tell me stories of their work for the community and the extended community as well. But I didn’t find many of them working on the grass root level. Some, so called activists are running their organizations just on internet; I find no working but photo session. Normally I don’t write for them even they ask me do so, But when I find someone working on ground, I do. And I feel, it should be acknowledged.
I heartily salute WVIP upon the working for injured in All Saints Church Peshawar attack. I have visited Peshawar church thrice and observed the people saying that WVIP is working on ground reality. You know the people said, “aik harry harry ay koi, o theek kum kar reha ay” (there is person name Harry, who is working on ground). This organization has been taking care of the injured patients, bearing the medical expenses, managing the house hold items for deserving people there. Farrukh said that since then 18 patients of the Peshawar church incident have been cured. And WVIP is taking care of the patient’s medication to his/her house hold needs.
I met Farrukh H Saif during the Rimsha case, when he came to deliver her. Unfortunately, his extended team leader, (who claim human rights champion) couldn’t manage it. So WVIP had to back out from the case and Tahir Naveed Chaudhry, jumped into the fire and become the champion. Farrukh didn’t lose heart and started helping the displaced families of the Rimsha case. I witness to it that during the case proceeding and after her release, this man had been taking care of those internally displaced people - IDPs. (Many people are not aware that with Rimsha incident more than 250 families were displaced and still suffering).
Then I saw WVIP was distributing necessary items to the people of Joseph Colony, Lahore. And now he is busy with the injured people in Peshawar incident. WVIP has been working on persecution. He told me on the phone that the above mentioned organization has worked the many blasphemy accused and have taken number of cases so far.
There are huge issues with Pakistan situation which this short article doesn’t attempt to address. However, put aside for a moment what you feel about the conflict in the region and who’s right and wrong. Christians are under threats; they are living right in the middle of an unwinnable situation. While we pray for peace in the troubled region in the world, let’s remember them as well. It really is the right thing to do.