Christians left homeless due to devastating flooding in Pakistan have been offered an unacceptable choice by Muslim charities providing for victims: convert to Islam or become bonded servants, essentially a form of modern-day slavery.
The choice come with the Pakistani government’s alleged decision to ignore the suffering of the country’s Christian communities.
"When it comes to responding to the flooding of Christian communities, the government seems to back off. Whereas with Muslim communities they respond immediately as do the Muslim charities," said Wilson Chowdhry, the president of the British Pakistani Christian Association speaking to The Christian Post.
Chowdhry added that "is not unusual for the government to overlook helping the Christian communities." In addition, the government has not built the proper infrastructure to prevent this type of damage, even though the region is known for severe flooding, he said.
Floods that hit the Kasur region in Pakistan this summer washed away thousands of homes, including those of more than 60 Christian families. While the Muslims left homeless were provided with temporary shelter, clean water and food by the government and Muslim charities, the Christians were not.
Chowdhry said the Christians were told to renounce their religion and convert to Islam if they wanted to receive aid, a choice they rejected. They were offered the option of receiving aid if they became bonded servants to the Muslims.
"We arrived very late. We first went to Layyah and Gilgit where flooding was most severe, but if we had arrived in Kasur seven days earlier, there could have been more lives that we potentially could have saved from this modern-day slavery," Chowdhry said. "Several families have already now signed contracts, which have now made them slaves for their Muslim landlords."
Although Chowdhry’s organization is stepping in to help the families, the organization has limited resources as do the churches in Pakistan.
For more on persecution of Christians and other minorities here's a sneak peek of our upcoming movie Faithkeepers.