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Shagufta and Shafqat
Photo via World Watch Monitor

A Pakistani court has sentenced a Christian couple to death for insulting Mohammed and the Quran. Shafqat Emmanuel, 44, and his wife, Shagufta, 41, who live in Gojra, Punjab, were convicted on April 4th of sending "blasphemous" text messages.

The complainant, Muhammad Hussain, alleged he was praying on July 18th of last year when he received blasphemous text messages on his cell phone. Muhammad's call data reportedly revealed the messages were sent from Shagufta's cell phone number. The police, however, were unable to recover the SIM card from her phone, and Shagufta argued that she lost her cell phone a month prior to the incident.

Nevertheless, the Gojra police detained the couple, along with their four children (ages five through 13), pressuring them to name someone who could have sent the messages. At last report, the couple was planning to appeal the verdict.

Pray that mercy will be extended to this Christian couple by those of the judicial system, granting them a swift release. Please also bring this couple's children to our Lord in prayer, as Shafqat and Shagufta have been unable to visit with them since their arrest last summer. May God strengthen the faith of each family member, encouraging them to trust Him wholeheartedly throughout this ordeal. Finally, please intercede on behalf of two other believers, Sawan Masih and Asia Bibi, who have also been sentenced to death for blasphemy in Pakistan.

To watch a three-minute video report about these false charges, please visit this page.

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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