(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)

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.