Pakistani Christian Refugees Remain Stranded in Thailand

12/09/2018 Pakistan (International Christian Concern) – In 2009, seven Christians died when more than 100 Christian homes were set on fire in Gojra, Pakistan. The fires led to over 10,000 Christians fleeing their homes and escaping to Bangkok in effort to apply for refugee status with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

As the political climate changed in Thailand, major crackdowns began in 2012 on the number of asylum seekers that could be let into a country. The largest of these crackdowns happened just two months ago when 100 Christians from Pakistan seeking asylum were arrested and sent to an Immigration Detention Center (IDC).

Pakistani Christians who have been able to take refuge in Thailand claim that only 5% of those who apply for refugee status from the UNHCR are granted refugee status. This leaves hundreds with nowhere to go. Death, disease, starvation, and living in hiding are just four of the harsh realities for Pakistani Christians stranded in Thailand.

One family from Pakistan recently shared their story with World Watch Monitor. The husband and father, who wanted to remain anonymous, stated that they had no money and no food. He said, “I had my wife make chapatti [flatbread] for eight days, which I ate dipping in water to soften it as Thai food is so expensive for us and very different.

The family shared that they were able to stay with a woman who at one point was hiding eight Christians in an underground chamber for more than two weeks. The family was thankful for her generosity and claimed that she was “great and brave.”

For interviews with William Stark, ICC’s Regional Manager, please contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org

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