Scholar Profile | Ayra Indrias Patras
Ayra grew up in a lower middle class, Christian family with an Anglican father and Catholic mother. She strongly believes in ecumenism.
Her parents worked hard to support her studies, and she received a Christian education in Rawalpinidi. Early in her studies, Arya was overlooked for a role in a Christmas program because her teachers wanted to give lead roles to students with more fair complexions. This sparked a desire to stand up and speak out against injustice. She pursued a master’s degree in International Relations and began working to advance the rights of women and religious minorities in her home country.
In 2009, Arya began working and building relationships with United Methodist ministries, including United Methodist Women (UMW). She is currently pursuing a PhD in Gender Studies and continues to promote and protect the rights of women and religious minorities with organizations like the National Lobbying Delegation for Minorities and the Christian Study Centre.
Arya says her scholarship “enabled me practically to continue my studies without addressing any burden that can [pop up] from financial concerns. Support for tuition fee[s] has peacefully allowed me to concentrate on my studies.”
After completing her PhD, Arya will continue to work with faith-based organizations advocating for the rights of religious minorities and women, as well as promote citizenship rights, interfaith harmony and peace-building initiatives.