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Sunday, 19 September 2010

Pakistan: More on the Christians discrimination on the relief aid

A photographer of Portas Abertas is traveling through Pakistan to report on the flood's disaster. The circumstances are difficult and threatening. "I had to travel by night to the affected area and could only stay there for some hours. I had to go back to a safe city before there was talk of a foreigner in the region".
The photographer visited two villages. "Of course I had heard stories about Christians being overlooked during the relief effort of the government and Islamic organizations. In the first village that was a harsh reality. The town was still flooded with people camped on high ground. The Muslims were in tents nice and firm. Christians were situated a few hundred meters down the road, with makeshift tents made of branches, leaves and grass".
The local Christian leader said they were heartbroken when help arrived at the Muslim village. Everything that they could have were the leftovers. However, when a church brought supplies to the Christians, they had to share it with the Muslims, otherwise they would have problems. According to the pastor, "the situation is a sad reality of many affected areas".
In another village, the situation was slightly better. "These Christians have helped each other a little, because they managed to secure parts of the harvest. I prayed with about 50 local men in the country and the village."
Still, the photographer feels the tension in all the places you visit. "Five years ago I was in the country because of the earthquake that struck Kashmir. There was a lot of freedom to move. Freedom that has disappeared. In many places the people were persecuting me. It seems they want the Church involved in humanitarian aid. Or at least they want to keep quiet about it. Moreover, the Christians say that the Talebans are very active. There is always a risk of humanitarian workers being attacked, mainly foreigners and Christians. "
Despite the dangers, Open Doors works in conjunction with the Church to trace Pakistani Christians in areas that are difficult to access. Contributed food, medicine, blankets and other aid products. They are also taken to safe shelters, if needed. Pray for Christians and workers in the field.
(Translation: T&P).

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