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GoodNews Church talk on 21st Century Slavery

A TALK on the plight of hundreds of thousands of ethnic Christians who are trapped in slavery in the brick kilns of Pakistan,  will be presented by Pastor Zahid Kenny on Saturday 4th of November at Melksham Town Hall,  at 7.00pm.

GoodNews Church, who is hosting the event says, “There are more people in slavery today than at any time over the last 500 years.  Men, women and children forced to work in awful conditions, beaten if they complain, their families victimised if they try to run, bought and sold at the whim of their masters.

“The method of gathering slaves may have changed, the chains around their ankles no longer made of iron, but the effect has remained the same.  A small loan and a promise of work, a technique learnt from the British after the abolition of the slave trade, traps people, families and eventually multi-generations into slavery, as over-inflated interest rates and impossible quotas of bricks turn the key to the lock on these chains.

“We are hearing a lot about the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 and the terrible impact on the different ethnic groups in the region. Today in Pakistan, there are about 18,000 brick kilns and approximately 4.5 million people tied to their masters in slavery.  In the Punjab region of Pakistan alone there are upwards of 5,000 kilns where the majority of the workers are ethnic Christians. Islam, with its strict laws of usury, forbids lending money with interest to other Muslims, meaning that this trap of borrowing money has caught predominantly non-Muslims, especially ethnic Christians.  People who have no voice and are treated as non-humans.

“Pastor Kenny, the co-founder of Reach Pakistan, worked amongst the kiln workers of the Punjab region of Pakistan for several years, before death threats from Islamic hardliners caused him to flee from his homeland.  Pastor Kenny has been granted asylum in the UK and is determined to share his story, raising awareness and help for those he left behind in Pakistan.

“Please come and join us on Saturday 4th of November at Melksham Town Hall.  Pastor Kenny will also be speaking at GoodNews Church on Sunday 5th of November, also in the Town Hall.”  For more information call 01225 707387 or e-mail fellowship@goodnews church.org.uk