Tags: Help | Christians | Pakistan

Help Christians in Pakistan

Thursday, 14 February 2002 12:00 AM

Dear Friend,

Children should not have to make bricks 12 hours a day, six days a week. But in Lahore, Pakistan they do.

In Pakistan, it is customary for Christian families to pay a dowry when their daughters marry. Many do not have the money as Christians are considered second-class citizens. If they have a job at all--many have no work--it is usually cleaning houses for wealthy Muslims, sweeping streets, or removing garbage.

To afford the dowry, families who don't have the funds secure a loan. For far too many Christians, the payback is a lifetime of making bricks.

Owned by wealthy Muslims, the brickyards "employ" the entire family. Families toil day in and day out making bricks. They must make over a thousand bricks a day to fill their quota.

Christian families I personally interviewed have been working in the brickyards for generations--never able to leave.

Dad, Mom, and the children work together under the hot sun. Babies and children too young to work lie in makeshift beds by their parents as they work. Those too old or sick die in makeshift beds next to the yards.

After drying, the bricks are inserted into an enormous furnace. The furnace is underground. The only way to insert the bricks is by walking on top of the furnace and placing the bricks into small holes. Those tending the furnace have a hot and dangerous job. Many have died by breaking through the top of the furnace and falling into the flames.

At night the families sleep in crude dwellings next to the brickyard. There is no electricity and their children don't go to school and this is the only life they will ever know... until now.

Christian Freedom International is working to break this cycle. We may not be able to help everyone, but we can save a few.

Working with and empowering indigenous Pakistani pastors and Christian leaders, CFI is funding Christian teachers. We are providing educational materials and medicine--we want to reach as many children as we can in the brickyards.

We will also attempt to rescue some of the families from the bondage of the brickyards. CFI will provide interest free, easy-term loans to Christians so that they can pay off their debt to the Muslims. We will in turn relocate them to a new, semi-isolated location outside of Lahore. We also will work to educate the desperately poor, under-educated Christian community not to take out dowry loans.

CFI's approach to rescuing the families from the brickyards is biblically based... we want people to escape with their dignity. We don't want to make their situation worse... we don't want to promote dependency through welfare poverty relief. That is why we will provide loans, not simply give them a handout.

Here is what I would ask you to prayerfully consider...

--- A market-rate salary for a teacher is $50 per month. It takes several hundred dollars to properly equip a school.

--- For $100 you can provide medicine for an entire family for months. And less than $1,000 can provide enough for a loan in most cases.

Please know that any amount you sacrificially provide for the persecuted church in Pakistan is desperately needed.

"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those who are perishing. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice." (Proverbs 31: 8,9)

Thank you for helping your brothers and sisters in Pakistan. May God bless you and your family.

Sincerely in Christ, Jim Jacobson President, CFI

P.S. Christians in Pakistan have never had it easy, but since September 11, 2001, it has become increasingly difficult -- Christians are viewed as believing in the "Westerner's God." Please pray for Christians in Pakistan and send a sacrificial gift today.

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Dear Friend, Children should not have to make bricks 12 hours a day, six days a week. But in Lahore, Pakistan they do. In Pakistan, it is customary for Christian families to pay a dowry when their daughters marry. Many do not have the money as Christians are considered...
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Thursday, 14 February 2002 12:00 AM
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