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Kaaba in Mecca
The Kaaba in Mecca.

A young Christian who was convicted of blasphemy in 2018 at the age of 16 has been granted bail by the Lahore High Court in Pakistan. Nabeel Masih was accused after allegedly "liking" and sharing a picture on Facebook which was deemed disrespectful to the Kaaba (sacred shrine) in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. He was sentenced to ten years in prison.

On March 1st, Nabeel's lawyer successfully argued that there was no evidence indicating Nabeel was responsible for the Facebook post, which had been removed after his initial arrest to prevent further violence. He has been released on bail until the paperwork to acquit him is completed.

Blasphemy laws are frequently used for personal gain, vendettas, or as a means to oppress Pakistan's religious minorities. Even when the charges are found to be false, and subsequently dropped by the authorities, the formerly accused Christians frequently encounter mob violence. To review additional information on the persecution of Christians in Pakistan, including previously published reports, go to our country report.

Praise God that Nabeel will soon be acquitted of the charge against him! May the necessary paperwork to fully exonerate him be completed quickly. Pray for the protection of this young man and his family from any repercussions of violence or other forms of persecution upon his release. May the efforts of anyone seeking to harm them be thwarted. Continue to remember the many other Christians who are still being held in Pakistani prisons due to false blasphemy charges.

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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