Date: December 24, 2017
By Sheraz Khan, South Asia Correspondent for ASSIST News Service
TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA (ANS -- December 24, 2017) -- A Pakistani Christian family, who had fled to Thailand after having faced alleged persecution in Pakistan, arrived safely in Canada on Wednesday, December 20, 2017, just in time for Christmas.
They were warmly greeted by members of the Canada-based International Voice (ICV), which included Mr. Peter Bhatti, founder of ICV and brother of the slain Pakistani Christian politician, Shahbaz Bhatti.
This news comes in a press release sent to ANS from the activists of International Christian Voice who visited Thailand in November 2015.
While there, the ICV team met several of the Pakistani Christian families who were stranded in Thailand after having fled alleged persecution in Pakistan.
According to the ICV release, the family of the late Mr. Faris Ayub was amongst the many that the ICV team met while in Thailand.
“During our visit, we found one family who we believed was the most deserving of sponsorship to Canada,” stated the release. It was that of Mr. Faris Ayub, who had fled Pakistan to “save his life, and the lives of his family.”
According to the press release Ayub’s daughter was especially at risk of being kidnapped and forceful converted to Islam.
Ayub, according to the press release, became severely depressed after having been allegedly mistreated by the Thai immigration authorities for not being able to provide for his family.
The press release went on to say that Mr Ayub began working illegally in Thailand to feed his young family.
It stated: While working at a factory, he lost three fingers due to an accident at work.
“His inability to pay for medical treatment caused Mr. Ayub to suffer from a heart attack which took his life,” said the press release.
The press release stated that ICV had been supporting Ayub’s widowed wife and three children since 2015.
According to the press release, in March 2017, on the anniversary of the death of Martyr Shahbaz Bhatti, ICV arranged a fundraiser specifically for this family to arrange for their settlement in Canada.
“We are very pleased to inform you all that after a long and difficult journey, the family has arrived in Toronto, Canada today, the 20th of December 2017,” it said at the time.
According to the release, the Pakistani family felt “relieved” after having arrived at Toronto International Airport. “They are now able to live a free life. ICV feels honoured to have been able to help this family during the most difficult time in their lives,” it added.
“We are sure that Martyr Shahbaz Bhatti, who gave his life for families such as this one, would have been happy to see the result of the sacrifice of his [own] life.”
The release went on to say, “ICV would like to thank all supporters and well-wishers who contributed and helped in bringing Ayub’s family to Canada. We would especially like to thank our sponsors who gave so generously, with open hearts, to help.
“We also thank the Canadian government, which has opened its borders to deserving refugees like Ayub’s family, giving them the opportunity to start their lives anew in a free and just society.”
The released concluded by saying,“We again request you all to remember this family in your prayers; that God would continue to help them with their integration into their new lives in Canada.”
So, this much-persecuted Christian family will finally be able to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, their Lord and Savior, in freedom in Canada.
Photo captions: 1) Faris Ayub’s family arrives safely in Canada. 2) Pakistani Christians being taken to Thai Detention Center after being rounded up. 3) Faris Ayub's family is seen with Peter Bhatti, head of International Christian Voice, with, with Ayub’s wife holding a picture of her late husband. 4) Faris Ayub's family is seen with team members of International Christian Voice. 5) Sheraz Khan.