Pakistani Christian seeks asylum after rape
A CHRISTIAN woman, Sidra Masih, who fled Pakistan for Sri Lanka after being kidnapped, raped, and forced to convert to Islam by the brother, Fareed, of the owner of the beauty salon where she worked, has avoided deportation to Pakistan, the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) reported this week. Ms Masih had been repeatedly harassed, and was raped by the brother and three Islamic leaders last September. Ms Masih was briefly detained by immigration officials in Sri Lanka before being accepted into Negombo before Christmas. She has since registered an asylum request with the UNHCR in Colombo. The BPCA is appealing for donations to support Ms Masih. Its chairman, Wilson Chowdry, said: “Christian women are among the most vulnerable civilians in Pakistan, and have no protection from the law, especially when it comes to crimes of rape.”
Hong Kong Anglicans praised for welfare work
THE Anglican Church is working with the government in Hong Kong to provide a rapidly ageing population with affordable housing and accessible facilities. The Labour and Welfare Secretary in Hong Kong, Dr Law Chi-kwong, guest of honour at the Church Welfare Council’s golden-jubilee meeting last month, said that the “silver tsunami” would increase demand for elderly care services in the coming decades, and that the Church was a “good companion” to the State in improving welfare and rehabilitation for the poor, elderly, and disabled.
Church in Burundi wins award for tree-planting
THE Anglican Church of Burundi has been awarded a Certificate of Merit by the country’s government for its ongoing tree-planting effort. The Church has planted more than 12 million trees on public land in the past ten years, a figure boosted by the launch of “One Person, One Tree” in December 2016 — a five-year commitment to planting one tree for each of the ten million people living in Burundi. The project has so far led to the planting of 1.5 million trees on public and community land, with the support of Episcopal Relief and Development and Norwegian Church Aid.