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In this photo, Muslims protest after hearing that Asia Bibi,
another Christian woman accused of blasphemy,
might be granted clemency. She was not.

A young mother who angered relatives when she refused to deny her Christian faith has been falsely accused of blaspheming Muhammad, the prophet of Islam.

Shamim Bibi, the 26-year-old mother of a five-month-old baby girl, was arrested by police in Khichiwala, Bahawalnagar district, in Punjab Province on February 28 after neighbours accused her of uttering remarks against Muhammad -- an offence punishable by life imprisonment or death under Pakistan's blasphemy laws. Shamim's brother and brother-in-law say she was wrongly accused because she had resisted pressure from her husband's sister as well as her nephew and niece to convert to Islam just four days before her arrest.

A local leader claimed that Shamim's neighbours told him and other Muslims that they had heard the Christian woman making derogatory remarks about Muhammad in her courtyard. Shamim's brother-in-law says after gathering information from an accuser and the neighbourhood, he found that neither accuser was even present at the time of the alleged remark. The Superintendent of Police Investigation also acknowledged that one of the two witnesses had admitted to not being present at the alleged "crime" scene.

Please pray that the accusers will recant any untruth and that Shamim will be freed. Please pray that her infant daughter and her husband, Bashir Masih, will remain safe and will soon be reunited with Shamim. Pray that Shamim will keep her eyes on Jesus, persevere in her faith, and not grow weary or lose heart (Hebrews 10:32-39; Hebrews 12:1-3).

For more on the persecution of Pakistani Christians, 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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