Christians in Pakistan fear that sending a tweet or posting a comment on Facebook could now land them in serious trouble.
The Government has launched a crackdown on online content deemed to be ‘blasphemous’. Christians fear that extremists will make false accusations against them – and perhaps even set up fake social media accounts in their name.
Pray for our Christian family in Pakistan who are seriously concerned that this cyber crackdown could further limit religious freedoms.
Last month, mobile phone users in Pakistan received texts from the Government warning them against sharing or uploading ‘blasphemous’ content online. The messages also gave an email address for reporting such content, which Christians fear will be used against them.
Nabeel Masih, aged16, has been detained since September for allegedly posting on Facebook a ‘sacrilegious’ photo of an Islamic holy site: his lawyer says Nabeel is illiterate.
Meanwhile, Ishfaq Masih, a 23-year-old Christian from Lahore, was recently arrested after a local Muslim accused him of blasphemy following a dispute over a repair bill.
- Pray that our Christian family in Pakistan will trust God for His justice. Pray that they will know that God’s purposes will stand (Isaiah 46:10).
- Pray for the swift release of Nabeel and Ishfaq. Pray that God will comfort them and their families.
- Pray that Pakistan’s Government will take firm action to tackle extremism and uphold religious freedom, for the sake of peace, justice and equality.
(Source: Morning Star News)
Our Chinese brother, Pastor Zhang Shaojie, has recently been tortured – including being starved and deprived of sleep – because he recently tried again to appeal against his sentence. His daughter, Esther, said officials told Zhang they would not process his appeal unless he pleaded guilty. The leader of Nanle County Church has served almost four years of a 12-year sentence for ‘fraud’. (Source: China Aid)
Please continue to stand with us in praying for Pastor Teresito Suganob, and his fellow captives in the southern Philippines. He was among 200 people kidnapped by Maute militants in Marawi city last month: those abducted are said to include 100 Christians. The Islamic State-affiliated group still holds part of the city, where Pastor Teresito was reportedly seen last weekend. (Source: World Watch Monitor)
Remember our Iranian brothers Yaser Mosibzadeh, Saheb Fadayee and Mohammad Reza Omidi in your prayers: they await an imminent verdict on their trial for ‘acting against national security’. They are also still waiting to hear whether their appeal against a sentence of 80 lashes for drinking communion wine has been successful. (Source: Middle East Concern)