(Reading time: 2 - 3 minutes)
Christians look on as Muslim leaders
recite ritual prayer in church building
at the conclusion of a council meeting.
Photo: Morning Star News

For Christians in Pakistan, current blasphemy laws continue to pose a threat to their safety and well-being. The existing statutes have become an extreme burden for the country's minority faith group -- leading to harassment and, in many cases, severe punishment. At least 14 people are presently on death row, and 19 others are serving life sentences. According to a report by the Islamabad-based Centre for Research and Security Studies, 52 people accused of blasphemy have been murdered since 1990. Investigations reveal that the reasons for the accusations often stem from personal enmity, property disputes and religious hatred. To review previously posted videos and news reports on persecution in Pakistan, click here.

In Nankana Sahib District of Punjab Province, a 94-year-old Christian landowner by the name of Chaudhry Habil Qaiser, who had attempted to resolve a disagreement over land profits, was wrongfully accused of blaspheming Islam by someone who used to till his land. After the accuser, Maulvi Muhammad Bashir, continued to spread false accusations of blasphemy, fears began to mount in the Christian village over the threat of a mob attack. Maulvi also decided to take the case to authorities which then incited a period of legal proceedings.

As Chaudhry was widely respected throughout the district for his integrity, the case was later dismissed. Maulvi then apologized for trying to turn a monetary dispute into a religious issue. In light of frequent abuses, Pakistan's federal government has finished the drafting of a bill to forestall abuse of the blasphemy statutes. According to officials, the bill aims to keep anyone from taking the law into their own hands and metes out harsh penalties for those who have levelled false accusations of blasphemy.

In another situation, a Christian young man with mental illness by the name of Yaqoob Bashir allegedly told local Muslims that he had burned a copy of the Quran. An angry mob of militants gathered and threatened to set him on fire. At this point, police took Yaqoob into custody which sources believe saved his life. As it now stands, current blasphemy laws do not take into account those with psychological challenges where the individual may not have intentionally blasphemed. The new law reform, however, would make it necessary -- in applicable cases -- to prove that the crimes committed by individuals in question are indeed "intentional."

Please pray that the Lord will help Pakistan's victimized Christians to stand strong spiritually, despite the false accusations and rumours they encounter. May they receive the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, as did our Saviour, who Himself was wrongly accused of blasphemy. As the details of the reformed law are being negotiated, ask that wisdom and discernment be granted to those involved in the deliberation process. Last, but not least, intercede on behalf of those who are actively spreading lies and rumours about God's innocent people, earnestly desiring that the 'accusers of the brethren' be given an opportunity to experience the salvation of the One who died for all -- including both Christians and Muslims.

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.

end

Select a Region

Pakistan News

  • Two Teenage Girls Recently Kidnapped
    Young woman in a burka

    After more than two weeks of apparent investigative searching, police have been unable to find two Christian girls who were kidnapped on March 7th from the Christian colony of Ghaziabad Aorangi Town which is located within the capital city of Karachi. A Christian lawyer involved in the case stated t

    ...
  • Blasphemy Charges for Alleged Facebook Post
    Fansan Shahid
    Fansan Shahid
    Photo: Morning Star News

    Fansan Shahid, a 54-year-old Christian from Gujranwala in Punjab Province, is in federal custody with charges predicated on a blasphemous comment he allegedly made in a Facebook post during 2019. Fansan was arrested just after midnight on March 16th when more t

    ...
  • Young Christian Woman Kidnapped
    A large group of Christian protestors with signs, the most prominent one reading, ''Save the innocent minor girls of religious minorities from vultures... (remainder unreadable).''
    Christians protest the frequently occurring
    abductions and forced conversions in Pakistan.
    Photo: Wikipedia / Banksboomer (cc)

    Two years ago, Abida Mukhtar's husband died of a heart attack. Finding herself in need of assistance with necessary adjustments regarding his government pension, the griev

    ...