(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)

Joseph Francis and Naveed Walter
Photo from ASSIST News Service

A leading human rights campaigner in Pakistan has urged the government to provide "full-fledged security" for Joseph Francis, Director of CLAAS (Centre for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement), after Francis received death threats for his work on repealing of the country's controversial blasphemy laws.

Naveed Walter, President of Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP), told ASSIST News that he is concerned for the safety of Francis and other Christian leaders who are receiving disturbing threats. Walter said, "CLAAS, under the leadership of Mr. Joseph Francis, provides the legal aid assistance to people who are persecuted because of their religion. It is an organization that is working to unite Christian lawyers on a platform to assist in cases that relate to the blasphemy laws in specific. Before 1992, Christian lawyers were afraid to take these kinds of cases." He went on to say, "After the assassination of Mr. Shahbaz Bhatti, the Federal Minister for Minorities Affairs, Mr. Francis could be a next target of the Taliban and extremists. The Government must ensure his security."

Please pray for the protection of Joseph Francis, Naveed Walter and all those willing to stand up for the rights of the Christian minority in Pakistan. Thank the Lord for the way He has equipped them to do this good work. Pray He will give them favour and, through them and others like them, bring about great change in this nation for religious freedom.

Read more about the persecution of Pakistani Christians at the Pakistan Country Report.