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Housing persecuted Christians

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Housing persecuted Christians

Project(s): 00-977

Country/Region: Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India

Play videoPersecuted but not forsaken - video
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Thousands of Christians in three South Asian countries have lost their homes. Living in squalid conditions, without proper homes or places to worship, they are vulnerable, despised and cannot help themselves.

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Homeless Christians in Pakistan

“I have a dream in which I tell my friends, ‘This is my home that protects my family; it may be small but it is filled with God’s love and grace.’”

A pastor’s plea - Sri Lanka

“We lost all our belongings, and we also suffered many illnesses without any proper medical attention. We were living in a refugee camp till 2011. We have now moved back to our village with hope and vision to rebuild the ministry and make an impact for God. Land belonging to the church, which had a building, was destroyed in the war. As the church we will be grateful if this church could be rebuilt to serve the communities.”

Rosalina, a Christian girl from Orissa, India

“In July 2009, we had to return back to our village. We put up small tents with tarpaulin to stay in most unhygienic and unsafe condition… Only by the grace of God we are living and I praise and thank God.”

Click on the countries on the left for more information

India

At Christmas 2007, Hindu extremists entered the homes of their Christian neighbours telling them that they had to convert to Hinduism or leave. Many Christians were wounded or killed, unless they managed to escape into the jungle. Their houses and churches were burned down or rendered uninhabitable by the extremists. In August 2008 brutal attacks started again, continuing unabated for two months. At least 400 villages were “cleansed” of all Christians. Over 56,000 Christians were left homeless.

Pakistan

Following a housing dispute in which authorities reneged on their promise of providing land, more than 2,000 poor and vulnerable Christians became homeless in June 2009. They ended up living in tents along the centre of a highway with up to 20 people per tent. The only water supply ran beside an open pit latrine and waste dump. Two people died from the heat that first summer. In 2010 the government moved the families to a camp outside the city, but their tents were badly damaged by the devastating floods later that year.

Sri Lanka

The ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka that lasted more than 30 years has left the north and east districts of the country in a war-ravaged state: devastated land and vegetation, houses in ruins, and up to half a million people displaced and living in temporary camps. Since the war ended in May 2009 reconstruction work has begun, but many Christians are still without permanent homes. They meet together to worship in tents and sometimes under trees.

Can you or your church help provide a home?

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With your support, Barnabas Aid can enable local Christian groups to provide proper houses and churches for these homeless Christians in South Asia.

Since Barnabas Aid began in 1993 we have built hundreds of homes and scores of churches, transforming the lives of needy Christians under pressure. Help us to keep helping!

Any gift, no matter how small, will help!

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sevenhundred.jpg for simple, one-room house in Orissa, India (pictured). The overhanging roof creates a veranda for cooking.

twothoufivehunpounds.jpg builds a four-room house in Pakistan with a kitchen and bathroom with toilet/shower and electricity.

threethoufivehunpounds.jpg average cost for a basic house in Sri Lanka. Including indoor kitchen, toilet and water supply.

sixthoupounds.jpg typical cost of a new church building in Sri Lanka, becoming beacons of hope in these broken communities.

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    • The case of an Egyptian Christian man arrested following complaints by Muslim neighbours that he had been using his home as a church without a permit highlights the need of the Christian community for more places of worship. The 55-year-old man from Minya in Upper Egypt, where Christians are particularly vulnerable to persecution, was arrested once before, in 2011, for the same offence. Every church building in Egypt requires a permit, but these are notoriously difficult to obtain. Pray that the authorities will show leniency to the Christian man and that a provision in the new constitution addressing the issue of church buildings will be enacted. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 4 hours ago

    • Kidnapping for ransom has been a persistent problem for the Christian community in Egypt amid the political upheaval and instability following the “Arab Spring” revolution of 2011. On 14 June, Wadie Ramses, a well-known surgeon, was seized in El-Arish. The assailants opened fire on his vehicle and took him away wounded. They later demanded a ransom of ten million Egyptian Pounds (£800,000; US$1.4 million) for his release. Two days later, Christian merchant Gemal Shenouda was captured near his home in the same city. It is thought that Islamic militants with links to al-Qaeda, who have been behind escalating violence in the Sinai region, are responsible for the kidnappings. Pray for the safe return of our two Christian brothers and that they and their families will know the Lord’s peace. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Sep 2014 00:00

    • On 18 June, Bishoy Armia Boulous (31) was sentenced to five years in prison and given a fi ne of 500 Egyptian Pounds (US£70; £40) for “disturbing the peace by broadcasting false information” in connection with reports he produced relating to anti-Christian violence in Minya for a Christian TV channel. His lawyer believes that Bishoy has been targeted because of his conversion from Islam. The Christian gained notoriety in Egypt in 2007 as the first person to try to change his religion on his ID card, a case that is still unresolved owing to the political tumult in the country over the last three years. Pray that the Lord will be Bishoy’s strength and shield (Psalm 28:7), and that he will soon be released. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Sep 2014 00:00

    • Saudi Arabia remains unique in the extent to which it restricts the public expression of any religion other than Islam.” In its annual report for 2014, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom highlighted the extraordinary restrictions faced by Christians and other non-Muslims in one of the most rigid and hardline Islamic states in the world. No churches exist in Saudi Arabia because of an Islamic tradition that Muhammad said there should be only one religion in the Arabian peninsula. Pray for peace and perseverance for the small number of Saudi converts and the many expatriate Christians practising their faith in this repressive context, and ask that the authorities will yield to international pressure to introduce greater religious freedom. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sat, Sep 2014 00:00

    • On 23 June, Vahid Hakkani, a Christian convert in prison in Iran, resumed a hunger strike in protest against the refusal of a court to grant him and two other Christians conditional release. Vahid had broken his previous strike in May after another of his fellow-detainees was set free. The prison authorities have reportedly confiscated his personal belongings from his cell and are denying him the right to make phone calls; they have also separated the Christian prisoners from one another. Even before his first hunger strike, Vahid had been suffering from a digestive problem and internal bleeding. Pray that his health may not fail altogether and that his action will secure justice and freedom for him and his friends (Psalm 69:33). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Fri, Sep 2014 00:00

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