(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)
A Christian bookstore owner is facing blasphemy charges due to the allegations of a local Muslim, his former business partner, in Punjab province, Pakistan. Ten years ago, Gulzar Masih opened a bookstore in Sialkot along with a Muslim associate, Abdul Rauf. In 2009, the men parted ways and each currently run separate bookstores. On May 1, within the precincts of the local police station, Rauf started shouting in front of a crowd that Gulzar and his son had burned the Qur'an and thrown it on the road. A group of Muslims then gathered to attack Gulzar's son. He was able to flee, however, and warn his father. The Muslims went to Gulzar's bookstore and attempted to burn it down, but police intervened and dispersed the crowd. Police allegedly tried to initiate a case against Gulzar, but local Christian elders and moderate Muslims intervened and found the story to be without basis. At last report, Gulzar and his family members were hiding out at an undisclosed location.

Ask God to give endurance of hope and faith to Gulzar and his family. Pray his case will highlight the injustice of Pakistan's infamous blasphemy laws and that such legislation will be abolished. Pray the Lord will not allow Pakistani believers to be discouraged, but to be emboldened as they serve a loving and sovereign Lord.

Find out more about the treatment of believers in Pakistan by visiting 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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