BACA Gives Lifesaving Grant to Christian Woman Who Escaped Persecution in Pakistan and Suffered a Stroke After a Decade in Limbo in Thailand


London: Rehena Majeed, a 40-year-old Pakistani Christian asylum seeker in Thailand, joyfully received a £200 gift from British Asain Christian Association this month. This financial assistance will help her purchase medication, pay rent, and afford other essentials for her survival in Thailand.

Rehena fled Pakistan in 2013 after a Muslim colleague attempted to force her into marriage and conversion. Despite her repeated refusals, the man persisted, and due to her minority status, she couldn’t continue to resist without putting her family in danger. When the situation became unmanageable, she sought help from a Catholic priest, who advised her to leave Pakistan. She recounted to BACA:

“The Muslim man threatened to kill everyone in my family if I did not marry him. I resisted his advances for some time, but I had to leave when I no longer had the strength to confront him.”

In Thailand, Rehena lived alone in a rented apartment and worked in a restaurant to support herself. However, in 2023, she suffered a paralyzing stroke that severely affected her memory, rendering her unable to work. Since then, she has struggled to pay rent and buy medication.

As financial burdens increased, Rehena reached out to Monsignor Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, who then sought assistance from Juliet Chowdhry, Trustee of the British Asian Christians Association, during a Roundtable event at the UK Foreign Office (click here). After offering additional advice and support to help Rehena, the Charity’s Trustees also provided her with a sizeable grant.

On May 5th, BACA provided her with a £200 gift, bringing her immense joy and relief, especially since other charities had not responded to her requests for help.

There are believed to be several thousand Pakistani Christian asylum seekers in Thailand. Despite being well-educated, they are forced to live on the fringes of society, undertaking menial labor for a pittance due to the animosity toward asylum seekers and refugees in a nation that has not adopted UN Conventions for asylum. While we can help a few, many others like Rehena desperately need assistance. With your support, we can reach more people like Rehena and make their lives a little easier. Please consider donating to our cause (here) to provide much-needed assistance to these vulnerable individuals.

Juliet Chowdhry, Trustee for the British Asian Christian Association, expressed her deep concern:

“It is heartbreaking every time I hear of Pakistani Christians fleeing persecution, only to face re-persecution in Thailand. The harsh reality is that these individuals are often willing to endure prolonged detainment in brutal Immigration Detention Centers (IDCs) rather than accept the offer to return to their homeland. This choice starkly illustrates their profound fear of returning to a place where their lives are in constant danger.

“Rehena’s struggles are a poignant reflection of the countless Pakistani Christian asylum seekers who are forced to live on the margins of society in Thailand. Despite being well-educated, they are relegated to menial labour for a pittance, simply because they are viewed as illegal immigrants in a country that has not adopted UN Conventions for asylum. This animosity subjects them to a life of suspicion and hardship, as they are deemed unwelcome in a nation that prioritizes protecting its own citizens.

“These educated and capable individuals are treated inhumanely, their talents and potential wasted, because they are seen as outsiders. The fear and uncertainty they face daily are unimaginable, and their plight underscores the urgent need for support and intervention.”

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