Thailand: Christian Refugees ‘Chained Like Dogs’ While Seeking Asylum
Veronica NeffingerReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2016 Jun 21
Many Christians who are fleeing Islamic persecution in Pakistan are coming to Thailand only to be denied asylum and subjected to inhumane living conditions.
CBN News tells the story of one such Christian Pakistani family who left Pakistan hoping to begin a new life in Thailand.
Mustaq Faisal was accused by Muslim neighbors of tearing pages out of the Koran. Faisal denied these charges.
“I was so scared,” he says. “I told them I would never do anything like that to their holy book, but they didn't believe me.”
Fearing for his life and the lives of his wife and young son, Faisal took his family and escaped to Thailand.
“The moment we arrived in Thailand I submitted our asylum application with the U.N.," Faisal said.
Faisal and his family were in Thailand for six months. Their tourist visas were expired and still they had not heard back from the U.N.
Soon, Thai authorities came to arrest the family. Faisal was not at home, but his wife, Samina, was taken into custody where she eventually died due to a heart condition because Thai authorities did not allow her to take her medicine.
Faisal is now back where he started in Pakistan, but he now has to face these challenges without his wife.
Wilson Chowdhry, a Christian human rights advocate with the British Pakistani Christian Association, said that cases like Faisal’s are unfortunately fairly common.
Chowdhry is trying to help Faisal, but says it is an uphill battle:
"What we found is that the wardens protecting, meant to be protecting these detainees, deny them access to healthcare and medicines," he stated.
Chowdhry added that Thai authorities treat refugees humanely, transporting them in vehicles with cages and even chaining them like dogs.
In some refugee facilities, twice as many people are crammed into a room than the room can hold.
“The stench as you walk in is overpowering. They have two toilets to serve over 200 people," Chowdhry said.
More than 100,000 Pakistanis have fled their country because of Islamic extremism. Nearly 11,000 have gone to Thailand, many of them Christians.
Publication date: June 21, 2016