Factory collapse in Pakistan reveals social ills

By November 16, 2015

(Photo courtesy of Forgotten Missionaries International)

Pakistan (MNN) — A factory collapsed in Pakistan a couple of weeks ago, killing more than 50 people and trapping at least 100 more.

It came after an earthquake in Afghanistan a week earlier, which also hit part of Pakistan.

“It was a factory that was under construction,” says Bruce Allen, of Forgotten Missionaries International. “It was in use, even though they were building the fourth floor of the factory, and the contractor even noticed that there were some severe cracks in the building following the earthquake.

“He exhorted the owner of the factory, ‘Don’t have people work in here now. Let’s make corrections to this building.’ The owner ignored it. The building did collapse. Ironically, the owner was one of the people who died in the collapse.”

But there’s another issue you might not have heard about. Beyond the death and destruction lies a deep-rooted cultural and social problem where certain groups are stripped of their humanity.

“One of the major tragedies is not just poor building standards perhaps, or people who are so greedy that they’ll ignore common sense advice about, ‘Let’s take care of this structural problem, but that 40% of the workforce were kids, young kids, almost like slavery,” Allen says.

“In general, this is a pattern across Pakistan, that this type of job that is drudgery…is reserved for Christians, for children, the people that ‘we really don’t want to give good jobs to.’ In fact, if it’s in a difficult environment, a dangerous environment, those are the jobs that are reserved for Christians; those are the jobs that are reserved for children.”

But what’s even more tragic, Allen says, is Christians fail to respond to this injustice. He says these issues should drive Christians to stand up for their persecuted brothers and sisters, as well as other vulnerable groups.

“We hear about an earthquake, we hear about a building collapsed, we hear about women being kidnapped and being forced into marriages against their will, forced conversions, being burned alive. And it just sounds like there’s all this bad news coming out of Pakistan. And I’d have to admit, this is tragic. And yet, what I find more tragic than this is when we turn a blind eye to the news.

FMI_Pakistan church group

(Photo courtesy of Forgotten Missionaries International)

“I really have to ask myself and ask other people, ‘What is the bad thing here?’ It’s not the reality of the news. What is good or bad is my response to the news. Will I let this jolt me out of my comfort zone to do something about children, women, the unsaved, that maybe I don’t see them right in front of me?”

FMI is responding by providing food, clothing, and other resources for the vulnerable. Can you come alongside them as well? Click here to get started.

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