Pakistani Christians Suffer Whilst Seeking Asylum in Thailand

ICC Note: Admittedly, the granting of asylum to someone who is being persecuted for their religious beliefs is a complex issue.  The fact remains that Christians around the globe have no real choice but to flee their homes out of fear for their lives.  Fleeing from immediate persecution can bring other problems. 

05/18/2015 Thailand (Pukaar News)

When most people think of Thailand, they imagine an exotic and luxurious holiday destination, but little is known about the harsh reality of the lives of the Pakistani Christian asylum seekers, who are being treated like criminals in Thailand’s capital Bangkok.

Many of these Pakistani Christians moved to Thailand for a better life after experiencing harsh treatment in their homeland of Pakistan. But upon arrival many of these individuals and families are arrested and locked up in Bangkok’s Immigration Detention Centre and left to survive in squalid conditions.

16 year old Zaresh Gill is one of the four thousand Pakistani Christians in Thailand. Her family fled Pakistan, because they lived in constant fear for their lives; she shares her experiences of adjusting to her new life, “I miss my friends, I miss them a lot, especially my best friends, they play, they laugh, they share their feelings. I actually miss that, I miss those moments. Here I have made friends and they are so heart touching friends, they care a lot, they remind me of my previous friends. But still I miss my friends, our families, our traditions, our giggling and mischiefs and many other things.”

Speaking to Pukaar News in Thailand, Munir Bashir, a Christian who left his homeland in Pakistan for a better life in Bangkok shared, “The conditions were horrific, cramped, dark and hot.” He spent seven months in the Immigration Detention Centre, known as the IDC with his wife and two children.

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