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Prisoners of faith Imram Masih and Asia Bibi
Prisoners of faith
Imran Ghafur and Asia Bibi

During the summer of 2009, two Pakistani Christians were falsely accused of blasphemy. Nine years later, both remain in prison, separated from loved ones as they await court rulings.

On July 1st, 2009, Imran Ghafur was accused of blasphemy when burned Quranic papers were found on the floor of his shop. Coincidentally, according to witnesses, a nearby Muslim shop owner had recently become jealous because of Imran's success. In January 2010, Imran was sentenced to life imprisonment. Due to the high-profile nature of this case, the court has not initiated a hearing date for Imran.

While in prison, Imran has turned to the Lord for encouragement. In 2012, it was reported that he would frequently sing and pray long into the night. Sometimes Muslim prisoners would join along in the singing, also asking him to pray for them (see this report).

A recent report from a VOMC source says that Imran has also found encouragement through his Bible devotional times and by reading Richard Wurmbrand's testimony, Tortured for Christ (TFC). "Whenever I get depressed, I reread TFC and it encourages me to stay faithful," he testifies. His father passed away this past spring and his mother is not well. Please uphold Imran and his family in your prayers during this lengthy ordeal.

Another believer, arrested just days before Imran, is Asia Bibi. On June 19th, 2009, Asia was in an intense discussion with coworkers about her faith. During the discussion, she reportedly told them, "Our Christ is the true prophet of God and yours is not true." As a result, she was sentenced to death for blasphemy. For extensive coverage on Asia's situation, click here.

On April 21st of this year, Pakistan's Chief Justice stated that he would personally preside over a hearing for Asia and that the decision would come in July (read more). As we're now nearing the end of July, we ask that you pray fervently for Asia's release.