The Persecuted: True stories of Courageous Christians

Robaird O’Cearbhaill 
Hong Kong Correspondent

Journalist Casey Chalk writes for leading US Catholic press and is author of The Persecuted: True stories of Courageous Christians Living their lives in Muslim worlds. He became interested in persecuted Christians -from Pakistan – when he’d moved with his family to Bangkok. In Thailand’s capital he was surprised to find many families of Pakistani Christian asylum seekers. 

“In 2014, I had no idea there was an asylum seeker crisis there, a result of thousands of Pakistani Christians fleeing persecution in their native country. Over the years, I learned to become the advocate of these Christians, many of whom are nothing less than heroes.”

Chalk wrote an article for Aleteia, an online Catholic magazine, “How I can help persecuted Christians from my home in America.” He chose one family’s  tragic story as a shocking example of persecution of Christians in Pakistan. 

“My friend Michael, his wife, and three children currently live under self-imposed house-arrest in the giant Pakistani city of Karachi. And all because they are Catholics. Three and a half years ago, Michael was recognized by Muslim extremists, pulled out of the motorized rickshaw he used as a taxi, and beaten almost to death. Then the Islamic militants torched the taxi, destroying Michael’s only source of income.”

Chalk adds that just being far away from these victims of religious fundamentalism does not mean we cannot help them. “When I tell this story, people’s first question is often ‘What can people in America do for the persecuted Church in faraway places like Pakistan?’” 

He continued, “It’s easy to have a sense of frustration and futility: millions of Christians, particularly in Muslim countries, face all manner of mistreatment and persecution, from humiliation and harassment to abductions, forced marriages, physical assaults, and even death. Can we American Christians, separated by such people by thousands of miles, really do anything?”

Chalk wrote “unequivocally, is yes. And I should know — when my family and I moved to Bangkok.” 

His publisher’s review of his “astonishing book The Persecuted said that it “tells the real-life stories of brave Christians who are suffering intimidation, oppression, and violence right now as they resolutely live out their Faith in Muslim lands.” He added that “author Casey Chalk, shocked by what he saw as a journalist living overseas, presents with skill and sensitivity these riveting stories that he witnessed firsthand.”

  The review says further, “This global tour of Christian persecution will take you from the slums of Karachi, where Islamic extremists harass and kill beleaguered Christians, to the bustling, exotic streets of Bangkok, where Christians hide in fear while awaiting adjudication of their refugee applications. They explain as well that ‘you’ll meet brave Christians who escaped Muslim persecution to make a new life in the Netherlands, and others who slipped away only to become trapped in Russia.’ Casey tells the stories of Christians who were tortured and, in some instances, killed in Muslim nations — and then lays out a strategic plan for rescuing as many as possible from their plight.”