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Photo from AsiaNews

A Pakistani Christian man passed away on March 22 after he was set on fire by Muslims in Rawalpindi three days earlier. Arshed Masih (38) and his wife, Martha (33), had been threatened with "dire consequences" by their employer, Sheikh Mohammad Sultan, unless they agreed to convert to Islam. The couple steadfastly refused.

In the days before the attack, Sultan reported a theft of 500,000 rupees and, although Arshed and Martha were not named as suspects, Sultan offered to drop the case if they renounced Christianity. When they were brought in for questioning, Arshed was assaulted and Martha was raped by police. Arshed was set on fire on March 19 in front of the police station by a group of Muslims, some of whom were reportedly officers and religious leaders. He sustained burns to 80% of his body. The couple's three children -- Mary (12), Nasir (10) and Neha (7) -- were forced to witness the horrific violence against their parents. (Sources: BosNewsLife, AsiaNews, International Christian Concern)

Ask God to comfort this family as only He can. Pray for God to heal Martha's physical and emotional wounds in the aftermath of these tragic events. Pray that Mary, Nasir and Neha will look to their heavenly Father for all they need at this time and continue to seek His face (Psalm 68:5). Pray that authorities will act swiftly and justly.

For more on suffering Pakistani believers, 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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