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Riaz Masih
Photo from Compass Direct

Riaz Masih (26) was brutally beaten by his four Muslim brothers in Punjab province, Pakistan after he refused to give up his faith. Riaz, whose Christian parents died when he was a boy, said that his continual refusals to convert infuriated his brothers. The Muslim cleric who raised them after their parents died had reportedly lured Riaz's brothers into embracing Islam by offering them a large plot of residential land and 500,000 rupees (approximately $6,000 CAD). In a similar manner, Riaz's brothers tried to entice him to convert by offering him 1 million rupees (approximately $12,000 CAD), a large residence and a woman of his choice to marry. However, Riaz stood firm and declined. On February 8, Riaz's brothers ransacked his house and told him that they would kill him if he did not convert to Islam, saying, "Killing an infidel is not a sin, instead it's righteousness in the sight of Allah almighty." Riaz begged them to give him a few minutes to consider their offer and then tried to escape, but they grabbed him, beat him with bamboo clubs and left him for dead. At last report, Riaz was hiding in fear for his life. (Source: Compass Direct)

Pray for God to continue to strengthen Riaz to remain strong amid opposition (Psalm 29:11). Pray that the Lord will speak to the hearts of his brothers so that they too will come to know Him as their Lord. Pray for the emergence of strong and mature Christian leaders in Pakistan to help equip those under pressure to remain steadfast and be effective witnesses for Christ.

To learn more about persecution in Pakistan, go to the Pakistan Country Report.

Current Ministry Projects

VOMC partners to train Christian women in sewing skills throughout Pakistan to provide a sustainable source of income for their families and encourage them in their faith and witness for Christ.

Project Funds: Families of Martyrs, Women’s Ministry

Country Information

Population
238,181,034 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Punjabi (44.7), Pashtun [Pathan] (15.4), Sindhi (14.1), Saraiki (8.4) Muhajirs (7.6) Balochi (3.6), Other (6.3)

Religion (%)
Islam (96.5), Other - Christian and Hindu (3.5)

Leader
President Arif Alvi (2018)

Government type
Federal parliamentary republic

Legal system
Common law system with Islamic law influence

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Pakistan

Pray that amendments will be made to Pakistan's existing blasphemy laws so that the country's citizens – including its children – will be protected from injustice and abuse. May our Lord's mercy and justice prevail, not only in the judiciary system but also in the hearts of the country's militants. Ask Him to transform their "hearts of stone" into hearts that are receptive to His love, mercy and the workings of His Holy Spirit – not only for the purpose of protecting the Christian minority but also for the salvation of their own eternal souls.

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