Over 100 Christian asylum seekers fleeing persecution from their native Pakistan were arrested in an immigration raid in Bangkok, Thailand.
A community of Pakistani Christian asylum seekers living in a low-rent condominium facility in the nation’s capital found themselves in the middle of the Thailand government’s ongoing immigration crackdown on Tuesday morning.
The Rev. Tim Eady, who pastors the only English-speaking Church of England congregation in Bangkok, told The Christian Post that as many as 80 Pakistani Christian asylum-seeking adults were arrested in the raid on the blockwide complex. At least 30 children were also detained in the raid.
“We are all devastated,” the Christ Church pastor explained in an email. “Many asylum seekers have become close friends of other church members. We fear for them.”
Wilson Chowdhry, chairman of a London-based charity assisting the asylum seekers called British Pakistani Christian Association, told CP that many of those arrested in the raid fled Pakistan after being persecuted or harassed over their faith. Some of them, he added, have even been accused of blasphemy, which is a crime punishable by death in Pakistan.
“The building itself belonged to a government official,” Chowdhry explained. “A lot of the Pakistani Christians decided to move there because they thought it was under some form of protection.”
But when the raid began, there was “no way out” for most of the asylum seekers who tried to flee from authorities because dozens vehicles completely blockaded the apartment complex.
Those detained in the raid are being held in Bangkok’s Immigration Detention Center.
Click here to read more.
Source: Christian Post