Concern for Christians and reading an article with videos of women and girls sharing testimony as victims of rape prompted me to ask some questions of my evangelist friend who serves Christian families that have come to work as brick makers and living in very poor villages of Pakistan.
According to Evangelist VW:
In Pakistan, mostly Christians are very poor and living in villages. Muslim's don't like to have us eat and work with them. They don't like our children to go to school or work with them in offices. All of these things Christians are facing here.
Why do Christians work in brick factories? Because making bricks is a very hard job, and, mostly, Muslims do not do this work. When our people are persecuted in other fields, they start working in a brick factory. Making bricks is not a job for one person. The labor of 1000 bricks is $6. That is very very small, 2 or 3 persons make 1000 bricks in one day.
Because of the small income, many times they need extra money to meet their needs, so, they have to take a loan from the owner. Their income is same, but, kids are growing and their need is growing day by day, so, they cannot pay loan back for a long time, but, continue taking more loans.
If they do marriage for any of their kids, they take a lot of money with the agreement of this: they will not leave the factory until they pay the loan.
When they are caught with a very big amount, sometimes the owner will beat them, rape girls, and force them to convert from their religion.
These are a few examples of what happens when Christians cannot pay loan. When they convert to Islam the owner forgives the loan.
This story I share with you is a story about a close relative whose family worked in a brick factory and are Christian. They had a big loan. At last the owner forced them to convert to Islam. Their kids were kept safe. However, the close relative and her husband converted back to Christian and were in hiding for four years. (edited)
In Pakistan, people have national identity cards which state you are Christian or you are Muslim. For four years, they tried to get their identity cards changed back to Christian. They were not successful in doing this. So, there is some danger because they are Christian.
I am working to serve families in three Christian brick maker villages. Under the ministry I started in 2003, Gariel Ministries, a Sunday School program is being established. I am also working to help erect a brick building in one of the villages that will be used as a church and education center. I am privileged to be called to serve these families. You can read more about The Gariel Project at this link: http://thegarielproject.com/
Dorothy von Lehe