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Feeling So LonelyShamim Masih Salem-News.com
I write for the people who suffer for nothing, Christians are the marginalized segment of the society, like me.
(ISLAMABAD) - Pakistan - with a Muslim majority, the country’s Christian population is quite small, about 3-5 percent is Christian. Among them, 98% are living below poverty line. In rural areas, they live under the pressure of their landlords and in urban areas most of them work as laborers and could barely make ends meet. In the capital, Christians live around the seasonal drainage and flood during raining seasons.
I know I cannot eradicate poverty or change their social status. Churches and Parishes are busy in making incredible profit by getting donations and selling religious properties to public, charging for community services. If the church manages funds properly they could easily change their status.
But they do not want to do it.
Let me say religious leaders have become autocrats and the west is busy in filling filthy buckets. In this situation, I am the only voice among these big bosses and feel so lonely and scared. I do not write for money but for the rights of Christians; money matters to meet the daily needs. I write for the people who suffer for nothing, Christians are the marginalized segment of the society, like me.
God fearing westerners are sending donations for these people to change their living standard but it didn’t reach to them and their living remain at the same level. I ever tried to reach everywhere, there is turmoil; sometime I don’t have money to travel even and I have to borrow to reach. Yes, British Pakistani Christian Association - BPCA shared my travel expenses to some extent. Due to the disconnection of internet services I couldn’t publish anything during last couple of weeks. During the meantime, one of my friends (not mentioning his name) asked me to write for him, I told him the exact situation instead supporting he suggested me to do it for him during my office timings.
Lying in bed on a lazy winter evening during the curfew in Rawalpindi city due the tense situation in November 2013, something dark and nasty reached out to me and my wife said it is embarrassing that you are working on noble cause but the response is not overwhelming. The challenging thing is that most of us do not offer the same kind of kindness to others, that we [reserve] for ourselves. People look forward to to do a lot for them but don’t bother if I am in trouble.
Doing journalism in the country like Pakistan, which is dominated by Muslim religious extremist, is not easy, especially when you write about religious minorities. Pakistan is perhaps ranked the third most dangerous country for reporting. The country also has one of the highest numbers of journalists threatened, kidnapped and killed.
My aim is to create a peaceful environment in the society and to help eliminate human rights violation/persecution through my writing as I bring the plight of those brave people under spotlight of the whole world. It’s not my aim to write and anything against or to blackmail anyone but to highlights the facts is my responsibility.
In this situation; black sheep feel uncomfortable and they blame me in many ways. Someone wrote an email to the chief editor of Pakistan Christian Post – PCP most recently and year back, Bishop Humphrey Peter wrote to Wilson Chaudhry; claiming that he is real bishop of Mardan church and funds should go to him and it is proven that that real culprit is.
Pakistan, where those working to change an incredibly hostile climate for free speech have found themselves under fierce attack. So in this situation journalists do not dare to write about these activities but I do. Being a Christian journalist, it is indeed become more dangerous to write on minorities’ issues. Many newsrooms forbid their journalists from reporting these kinds of incidents. So it happens with me as well.
Apart from my routine work, I usually write on minorities issues. So during my working with different papers in the country (knowingly I [am] not mentioning the names), my editor told me to keep it a low profile or stop it for a while, and if I had to, it [i.e. articles] would go without a byline.
I wish; I can provide education to those who cannot afford it otherwise. I feel so lonely because I am the only voice for my people and people who are in position to support this cause do not care. The situation is really discouraging; I see my future is timorous. It’s really discouraging.
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About Shamim Masih
"I am Christian rights activist and freelancer Pakistani journalist specializing in writing about Christians rights for the different papers in the world. My aim is to create a peaceful environment in the society and to help eliminate Christian persecution through my writing as I bring the plight of these brave people under the spotlight of the whole world."
Shamim Masih was born in Sheikhopura's village and raised in Gujranwala, a city in Pakistan's Punjab province. He earned his Bachelors Degree from the University of the Punjab, Lahore majoring in English, Economics and Statistics; he also received a Masters Degree in
As a freelance writer and author, Shamim has written for different papers in the world; his expertise is in writing articles highlighting different social issues. He has served as freelance chief reporter and column writer in “Minority Times” in Islamabad, and a number of Shamim's articles have been published in local papers as well.
You can write to Shamim at this address: email@example.com
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