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Photo: Flickr / Tamaki Sono (cc)

Ashamed that their 23-year-old daughter Nadia had renounced Islam and married a Christian man about a year ago, parents with militant Muslim views sought revenge by launching a manhunt against the newlyweds. As a result, the young woman and her husband, Aleem Masih, 28, were forced to flee to Narang Mandi, a town approximately 60 kilometres from the city of Lahore. They also had to file a police protection report for themselves and Aleem's relatives, knowing that both parties had been threatened.

On July 30th, Nadia's family received information that the couple were planning to visit a doctor in Khaliqnagar, located within the Youhanabad region. Her father, Muhammad Din Meo, and his sons seized the driver of their rickshaw and abducted the young couple, taking them to a nearby farm. Attorney Aneeqa Maria of The Voice Society reports: "The Muslim men first brutally tortured the couple with fists and kicks, and then thrice shot Aleem Masih. Nadia was shot in the abdomen." The attackers later returned to their village where they publicly proclaimed that they had avenged their humiliation and restored the pride of Muslims by killing the couple.

Police found Nadia still breathing when they arrived at the farm. She is presently in critical condition at the General Hospital in Lahore, after having undergone a major operation in which two bullets were removed from her abdomen. When Aneeqa went to visit the now widowed Nadia in the hospital, she encountered a mob shouting anti-Christian slogans. The attorney witnessed a similar display at a local police station where militants had gathered to pressure police. Since the incident, Nadia's vengeful family and locals have been threatening the lawyer, as well as Aleem's grieving family, demanding they drop the case. (Additional information on persecution in the country of Pakistan can be reviewed on our website.)

Ask the Lord to work mightily in the hearts of Nadia's family and their supporters, calming their fury against the young Christian woman, her late husband's family, and the attorney assigned to this case. May they realize the seriousness of their hateful crimes against the innocent couple and other followers of Jesus. Pray on behalf of the Masih family and their lawyer Aneeqa, that they be granted protection, comfort and guidance throughout the proceedings. In spite of all that Nadia has suffered throughout the ordeal, we pray for God's strength as she grieves the loss of her husband, forgives her family, and recovers from serious injuries.

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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