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Fansan Shahid
Fansan Shahid
Photo: Morning Star News

Fansan Shahid, a 54-year-old Christian from Gujranwala in Punjab Province, is in federal custody with charges predicated on a blasphemous comment he allegedly made in a Facebook post during 2019. Fansan was arrested just after midnight on March 16th when more than a dozen police officers stormed into his house and began beating him before taking him into custody.

According to his wife Safia, Fansan lost his phone in 2019 but hadn't reported it missing. They believe someone found the phone and used it to post the comment, since there was no password protection applied to the device and his Facebook account automatically logged in.

Safia insists that Fansan would never have committed the crime, since he was well aware of the consequences. In fact, he regularly warned his two adult children against discussing religion with any opposing Muslims because of potential problems.

The family is concerned about what may become a lengthy court process, since Fansan has multiple health issues. There are also concerns about the family's financial situation since he was the sole wage earner and charges like this can jeopardize any retirement fund. Additionally, there are fears about how the family's landlord and Muslim neighbours may react when they find out the nature of the charges against Fansan.

Accusations of blasphemy are an ongoing problem in Pakistan. Such claims are often used for personal advantage or to express religious hatred. The results are frequently demonstrated in mob violence against the accused and their family members. For more information on the persecution of Christians in Pakistan, go to our country report.

Prayerfully remember Fansan, Safia and their children as they contend with the charges, as well as the resulting imprisonment and other legalities that have been forced upon them. May this family receive greatly needed protection, provision and encouragement throughout the legal ordeal. Ask the Lord to especially strengthen Fansan during his time in prison, granting him opportunities to share his faith with spiritually seeking inmates. Pray that neighbours and other community members will be understanding and compassionate towards the family's situation. Furthermore, may the Lord bring fellow Christians into their lives who will further encourage, comfort and uplift their downcast souls as they wait for His justice and vindication to be upheld (2 Corinthians 1:4).

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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