From Darkness to Light: Yousaf’s Empowering Journey to Freedom

Farrukh Saif

December 2, 2023

Yousaf’s story is a heart-wrenching account of a former farmer who became a kiln worker. His journey reflects the harsh realities that vulnerable individuals face when trapped in bonded labor, including exploitation and deceit. Despite these challenges, Yousaf’s unwavering faith and hope in Jesus Christ testify to the human spirit’s ability to overcome adversity.

A Humble Beginning:

Yousaf, a simple man with a daughter and two sons, found himself compelled to leave his life as a farmer when circumstances led him to work in a kiln. Little did he know that this transition would mark the beginning of a tumultuous chapter in his life.

Deception and Increasing Debt:

Initially tasked with repaying a modest debt, Yousaf’s situation took a turn for the worse after taking loans for his sons’ marriages. Unbeknownst to him, the accountants at the kiln manipulated the records, inflating the debt to an exorbitant five hundred thousand rupees. This cunning move was designed to shackle Yousaf and his family to the kiln, ensuring their perpetual servitude.

Exploitation and Violence:

The exploitation reached a horrifying crescendo when Yousaf fell ill and missed a day of work. In response, the kiln owners, instead of showing compassion, sent men to Yousaf’s home who subjected him to a brutal beating, resulting in a broken arm. Denied both medical assistance and compensation, Yousaf found himself physically incapacitated and trapped in a cycle of abuse.

Religious Coercion and Threats:

Adding another layer to the tragedy, the kiln owner’s son, Shabbir, aligned himself with Islamists and began pressuring Yousaf to convert to Islam. Promising heavenly rewards, Shabbir threatened to forcefully take Yousaf’s daughter if he refused to recite the Kalima by the first of the next month. Despite the mounting pressure, Yousaf, rooted in his Christian faith, refused to renounce his beliefs.

The Rescue and Freedom:

In a glimmer of hope, a courageous team intervened to rescue Yousaf before the looming threat could materialize. Liberated from the clutches of the kiln, Yousaf and his family now find themselves in a place of safety, free from the horrors of forced labor and religious coercion.

Conclusion:

Yousaf’s story serves as a stark reminder of the prevalent issues within specific labor sectors, especially the Kiln Industry, where vulnerable individuals are enslaved, abused, and coerced. It also stands as a testament to the indomitable spirit of those who, despite enduring unimaginable hardships, hold fast to their faith and values. As we celebrate Yousaf’s newfound freedom, let his tale inspire a collective call for justice and awareness, ensuring that no one else faces such egregious violations of their fundamental human rights.

Listen to Yousaf’s Testimony

Farrukh Saif

Farrukh H. Saif, a fearless Christian Human Rights activist, founded the Farrukh Saif Foundation in 2009 to combat religious discrimination, blasphemy laws, and bonded slavery in Pakistan. His focus on liberating bonded laborers from brick kilns has earned him international recognition. Despite facing threats and fatwas, his impactful work continues to support marginalized communities. In 2018, the foundation merged with The Emergency Committee to Save the Persecuted and Enslaved, amplifying its global reach.

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