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A graveyard in Pakistan.
Flickr / Muhammad Imran Saeed

Fifty-five Christians were recently accused of blasphemy following an argument over a graveyard. Local Muslims registered a case against the 55 Christians in the Tehcil Samandri district of Faisalabad after the believers had begun to prepare part of an old Muslim graveyard for use by those of their own community. The Christians insist they had received permission from a sympathetic Muslim landowner to use that part of the graveyard, which was located on his property. Despite permission being granted, the accusing Muslims attacked the Christians and pressed charges. Police then arrested 14 of the believers, including a 12-year-old child. The others have yet to be detained.

Those who were accused had initially approached the Muslim landowner about using the land for burials because their own graveyard was full, causing them to resort to using the same plots two or three times. The Christian graveyard is a fraction of the size of the Muslim one, which covers 24 acres. In-country ministry partners of Release International, a sister mission of VOMC, recently provided food for the family members of the 14 detainees. They reported that the families are too scared to leave their homes for fear of attack. However, they are hopeful that they have succeeded in persuading the police to change the charge from blasphemy to a lesser one.

Pray that the false charges levelled against these believers will soon be dropped and each detainee released. Also pray for the protection of other Christians in this community, that God will shield them from any possible assault. May both the Christians and Muslims in this area be reconciled, resulting in many more within this district ultimately coming to faith in Jesus Christ through the faithful witness of the believers. Finally, please continue to pray that Pakistan's blasphemy laws will either be repealed or amended to prevent them from being misused to settle personal grievances.

For more information on the persecution Christians face in Pakistan, please visit the 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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