The Charity Commission for England and Wales is continuing its investigation into a host of allegations against the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA). The investigation began over a month after former BPCA Director Wilson Chowdhry resigned.
The commission confirmed with the Ilford Recorder that "it is investigating a charity which regularly worked in Redbridge" and that it is "aware of concerns relating to British Pakistani Christians Ltd."
BPCA—an organization sometimes referred to as BACA (British Asian Christian Association) that operates out of Redbridge, England—is known for its work with helping persecuted Christians from Pakistan.
In June, former director Chowdhry resigned from the BPCA. He was officially removed as director from the U.K. Companies House in July.
Chowdhry is well-known for his involvement in Asia Bibi's case in Pakistan. Bibi was imprisoned in June 2009 after being accused of blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammed. In May, Bibi was allowed safe passage out of Pakistan and granted asylum in Canada.
Chowdhry says he was in daily contact with Bibi's husband earlier this year and that BPCA was "grateful ... to have been able to be a part of this family's journey to freedom and will continue to pray for them and assist them where we can."
Chowdhry told the Ilford Recorder that he "stepped down due to personal reasons," though two sources claim his departure came after an alleged moral failure.
Lara Hall tells Charisma News that she and Chowdhry were involved in an extramarital affair that ended in May. After the relationship ended, she says she brought it to the attention of BPCA's board, after which they required Chowdhry to resign.
Hall, a former volunteer for BPCA, says Chowdhry sexually and emotionally abused her during the course of their relationship. Hall provided screenshots of messages seemingly between her and Chowdhry that were of a romantic and often sexual nature and some of which were demeaning toward Hall. Although Hall says their relationship contained consensual sex, she claims there were 10 times she was forced to participate in a painful sexual act against her will. She presented to Charisma News copies of a 17-page police report, in which she alleges Chowdhry was sexually violent with her against her will in two hotels in Tullamarine and Box Hill in Victoria, Australia.
Leading Senior Constable Melissa Search with the Victoria Police confirmed with Charisma News that the "Fawkner Sexual Offence and Child Investigation Team detectives are investigating a sexual assault that occurred in Tullamarine and Box Hill in February 2019." But as the investigation is ongoing, police could not provide further comment.
An anonymous former volunteer with BPCA confirmed with Charisma News Hall's report of Chowdhry's emotional abuse against her. She says Chowdhry's behavior often amounted to bullying toward others he worked with.
Neither BPCA nor Chowdhry have responded to Charisma News' requests for comment regarding Chowdhry's resignation or the alleged affair.
Hall tells Charisma News that she became aware of some Pakistani refugees in Thailand and Sri Lanka who had complaints against Chowdhry, namely that he did not provide them the financial help he had promised. Hall says she took her concerns to thirtyone:eight, an independent Christian charity that seeks to protect vulnerable people from abuse. The organization then reported Hall's claims to the Charity Commission.
In emails to Charisma News, BPCA refuted several of the refugees' claims. The charity also told the Christian Post that Hall reported these claims in order to "hurt Mr. Chowdhry, his family and the BPCA."
It is still unclear as to what Chowdhry's current relationship is with the BPCA. Although the charity has yet to name another director, the admin user on BPCA's website is now "Juliet Chowdhry," and the name of Wilson Chowdhry's Facebook profile has been switched to "Juliet Chowdhry."
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