In Pakistan, Christians are targeted by draconian ‘blasphemy laws’...
In Pakistan, Christians are targeted by draconian ‘blasphemy laws’, often as retaliation in commercial and personal disputes. The application of these laws is “deeply troubling,” as noted by the U.S. State Department. Churches are destroyed; mobs threaten Christians who refuse to convert to Islam, and execute those who have accepted Christ. Christian government leaders in Pakistan have been killed by their own bodyguards for speaking out against Islam.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom reports: “the Pakistani government continues to perpetrate and tolerate systematic, ongoing, and egregious religious freedom violations” with a “deep-rooted climate of impunity.”
The US State Department’s most recent report on religious liberty made many of the same criticisms. Islamabad continues to enforce blasphemy laws, discriminate against religious minorities, and include derogatory attacks on non-Muslim faiths in school textbooks, and utterly fail to safeguard “minority rights”, forced conversions and marriages, as well as “violence and abuses committed by armed sectarian groups” which target individuals as well as houses of worship.
CFI regularly sends emergency aid and ongoing assistance to victims of bombing, mob attacks, and other violent acts. CFI works with the U.S. government, the U.N., and other organizations to urge reform of the “Blasphemy laws.”
Mobs threaten Christians who refuse to convert to Islam, and execute those who have accepted Christ.
Minority Christians — if they have a job at all — are often stuck on the lower rung of the economy, working as servants, sweepers, day laborers, and in the brickyards.
Because most minority Christians in Pakistan live in desperate poverty, they frequently rely on financial loans from Muslim business owners. Unfortunately, entering into these agreements often costs Pakistani Christians their very freedom.
With no means to repay the debts, these Christians are forced to work as virtual slaves in Muslim-owned brickyards. It is no accident that the interest payments alone will keep the majority of them from ever regaining their freedom outside of the brickyards.
Bricks are the most widely used building material in Pakistan. The method used to produce bricks is dangerous, primitive, barbaric, and inhumane. Children who work in the brickyards are denied their basic right to a childhood, to an education and to play. all while struggling to reach an elusive production quota that may help satisfy their debts.
Forced into labor by religious persecution, lack of education, and severe poverty, families, including the children, work up to 14 hours a day with scarce food, no sanitation and little pay. Most of the children working at kilns have had no schooling and cannot read or write. An estimated two million children work in brickyards & kilns, lacking basic human rights. An education is their best hope to break the cycle of poverty.
Christian Freedom International helps in brickyards of Pakistan, assisting our brothers and sisters in Christ who are “the least of these” in one of the most persecuted nations on earth.
We regularly hold “micro classes” for the children, and distribute care packs to Christian families in the brickyards outside Lahore. Each care pack contains food, medical and other necessary supplies. This ongoing, lifesaving work is dangerous but absolutely vital for the survival of these Christian families.
Impoverished Christians trapped in debt bondage become indentured slaves working in brickyards. Whole families will work 10 hours a day, 6 days a week, never able to pay off debts for generations. CFI provides essential aid each month – food, soap, cooking oil and more. We also give Bibles, including audio Bibles for the illiterate, all delivered by pastors who pray and worship with them and teach the children.
Children who work in the brickyards are denied their basic right to a childhood