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Zafar Bhatti - Photo: Pakistan Christian Post
Zafar Bhatti
Photo: Pakistan Christian Post

Pakistani pastor, Zafar Bhatti, has been in prison since July 2012 after being charged with allegedly sending blasphemous text messages. Five years later, he was sentenced to life imprisonment for blasphemy – a charge based on allegations he continues to deny. In June of this year, an appeals court upheld the pastor's sentence, despite conflicting evidence. For more information on the circumstances surrounding his case, go to this page.

In the latest ruling of the appeals process, a judge decided on October 18th not to hear Pastor Zafar's case but rather send it back to a lower court to be heard again. This recent ruling has been viewed as another means of causing unnecessary delay to the legal proceedings concerning the accused Christian. Pastor Zafar's lawyers are now considering taking his case to the Supreme Court. For additional reports on the case of Pastor Zafar, and/or to review news accounts of other believers in Pakistan who are suffering for their faith, visit our country report.

Please prayerfully uphold Pastor Zafar as he continues to endure imprisonment due to the ongoing delays. In addition to sustaining this long-suffering pastor with renewed strength as he awaits vindication, may God provide him many wonderful opportunities to testify of Christ to those around him – whether they be prison officials or fellow inmates. Also, in the interim, ask the Lord to grant Pastor Zafar's lawyers wisdom as they consider their next move, with hopes that the courts will rule favourably on his behalf. During this prolonged period of separation from loved ones, may Pastor Zafar and his family and friends be filled with God's peace, comfort and encouragement.

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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Pakistan News

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