Marilyn and her four young children have had to flee for their lives after her husband, Asif Pervaiz, was sentenced to death for blasphemy on September 8th (read more). Typically, even the families of those accused of blasphemy are targeted with acts of violence by opposing community members. In an effort to stay safe, Marilyn and her children are now in hiding.
Asif, 37, had already spent seven years in jail, leading up to his conviction last month. The case started with his refusal to convert to Islam or participate in Muslim prayers with others in the workplace. He was then accused of blasphemy for allegedly sending texts of this nature from his cell phone to the supervisor.
VOMC's ministry partner, Release International, is providing assistance to Asif and his family at this time. The conviction is being appealed, with the support of Saif ul Malook, a Muslim lawyer who has risked his life to defend Christians -- including Asia Bibi who was acquitted in October 2018 and then forced to flee the country with her family for protection.
Please remember to pray for Asif Pervaiz while he awaits the outcome of his appeal in prison, asking for justice to prevail in his case. In the meantime, may the gracious love of God that Asif conveys in prison be used as a vibrant witness of our living Lord Jesus Christ so that many prisoners and officials will be drawn into the Kingdom of God. Additionally, pray that Marilyn and her children will experience His protection and provision while seeking safety in an undisclosed location. Continue to lift up the many other Christians throughout Pakistan who are facing persecution because of their faith in Christ.