Welcome! The issues will be discussed from a Kuyperian perspective, a dynamic branch of old Calvinism. It goes by a holistic view of religion, thoroughgoing pluralism and genuine democracy, by its insistence on combining human rights with respons-ibility and on giving religion legitimacy in all public affairs. Other blogs are WorldlyChristianity and ChristianInTheSecularCity.
Saturday, April 22, 2017
Post 52--Free Christian Christian Brick Kiln Workers in Pakistan
The topic today is about bonded brick kiln workers in Pakistan who are the virtual slaves of their compatriots. Read the whole story below; it is heart breaking. It is also very surprising, for what I hear from Canadian and American Muslim writers is that Islam is all about justice, freedom, equality, democracy, etc. etc. So, I am surprised that Pakistani Muslims get away with oppressing non-Muslims not only but that the world Muslim Ummah is not climbing all over their fellow Muslims for such oppression not only but, perhaps worse from the Muslim point of view, shaming Islam. Muslims are quick to accuse Christians of oppression etc., but what of themselves? What of this particular case, not even to speak of innumerable cases throughout the Muslim world? Muslims: show your stuff! Stand up for your religion! Demonstrate its hunger for justice and freedom! I want to believe Muslims when they claim justice as central to their religion, but this and similar situaons make it hard for me.
Bring Liberty to Bonded Laborers: Set free Christian brick kiln workers in Pakistan
Sobia and her father make a thousand bricks a day between them. They start work at 5:00 a.m. and after they have finished the day’s quota they prepare the clay for the next day’s bricks. Sobia has worked like this since she was a small child. She never went to school because her mother died and Sobia then had to join her father making bricks to support the family.
Sobia and her father together earn $8.65 a day. But their employer only gives them $6.75. He keeps the rest of their wages to pay back a debt of $1,410 which the family owes him. How did they get in debt? Every July and August the monsoon rains mean the brick-making has to stop. No bricks means no money for the families. But they still have to eat. So they take a loan from their employer, who charges them interest and thus ensures they never manage to finish paying him back. Being illiterate, they find it impossible to challenge his figures. When the next monsoon comes round, the family have to borrow from him again.
Sobia's brother, Shamaun, in his classroom, singing a Christian song with two friends
Trapped like paid slaves
Thousands of Pakistani Christian families are trapped like this. They cannot leave their job because of the debt to their Muslim employer. Some of their debts were originally incurred two or three generations ago. Often called “bonded laborers,” they live in a situation that is like a kind of paid slavery. Hope of freedom
But Sobia’s family have hope that one day this will change. Sobia’s younger brother goes to school. It is a small and very simple Christian school, supported by Barnabas Fund. Most of the pupils are from Christian brick-kiln families. When one member of a family can read, write, and do simple sums, the whole family is transformed.
Shamaun can now count the bricks his father and sister make, check the right figure is entered in the employer’s records, and make sure they are not cheated. He can check the calculations for their debt repayment, and make sure they finally pay it off. Then they will be free. Set them free!
Please help Barnabas Aid to free these bonded laborers through the priceless gift of education. We support five brick-kiln schools near Lahore, bringing literacy, hope and ultimately freedom to 230 children and their families.
The total cost for all five schools is $11,400 per year. Eight more schools are needed in this locality alone.
Just $4.10 per month covers all costs for one child to attend school
$11.55 provides each child with their books, pencil, eraser, and a bag to put them in
Daily travel and other costs for the ten teachers are $24.35 a month
One teacher’s monthly salary is $52.50