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Church of Scotland start petition for Christian Pakistani brothers who fear death if they return

Mon 02 Jul 2018
By Cara Bentley

A vicar has started an online petition for Christian siblings to stay in the UK as they could risk danger if they go back.

Somer and Areeb Bakhsh, who are 15 and 13 years olds, are worried they would be murdered by Islamic State if they were deported to Pakistan, which they left in 2012.

They fled to Glasgow with their parents, Maqsood and Parveen Bakhsh, after the murder of two Christians in Pakistan. Maqsood Bakhsh says the culprits have also targeted him and would kill his family if they had the chance.

Reverend Linda Pollock, the pastor of Possilpark Parish Church in Glasgow, started the campaign on the website 38 degrees because the Home Office rejected the boys' appeal for asylum despite them having settled in Scottish secondary schools and their fear of going back.

On Possilpark Parish Church's facebook account, Rev Linda posted on Sunday: "Friends, please add your name to the petition we have created for our boys. Just click on the link below and sign your name... and please pass this on to all your friends and family, we need as many signatures as possible... thanks, Linda"

Cameron Brooks

The petition currently has 1,622 signatories and the MP for Glasgow North East, Paul Sweeney, has also stepped in.

The church posted last month that Mr Sweeney "has written to the Right Honourable Caroline Nokes, Minister of State for Immigration, to urge her to consider Maqsood & Parveen and the boys' case as a matter of urgency so that the family may be granted leave to remain in the UK.

"Thanks be to God, let's thank God for Mr Sweeney and his Assistant, Pat. We keep praying and hoping."

Rev Linda Pollock with the Christian brothers. 

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