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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.