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Zafar Bhatti
Zafar Bhatti

Zafar Bhatti has been in prison since July 2012, charged with blasphemous text messages. In 2017, he was sentenced to life imprisonment.  He denies any involvement as the mobile phone in question was not registered to his name. He has appealed the sentence, yet hearings have been repeatedly adjourned. The latest court date was set for June 19th, but it too was delayed for the seventh time. The hearing is now rescheduled to take place on September 12th.

Zafar, who is in poor health, struggles with diabetes and depression. Anticipation has been high, since the judge stated at an April 25th hearing that there was no evidence against Zafar and that he should be released. However, delays have served to exacerbate the emotional trauma. Mehwish Bhatti, who visited him on June 20th, reports, "He was disheartened badly.... There was nothing I could do...but to encourage him through the Word of God. Please keep him in prayer...."

Please remember Zafar, along with his wife Nawab. Pray that they will sense the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit as they await the outcome of the September hearing, giving them a deep peace and joy. May this hearing result in a favourable decision so that Zafar will finally be freed from prison and reunited with his wife and family. Last, but not least, ask God to touch the hearts of the accusers, bringing them to repentance and faith in Christ.

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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