Simon* is a very poor Christian who scrapes together a living by collecting items for recycling and who now finds himself caught up in a blasphemy row – and he’s only 16.
The teenager from Punjab, Pakistan, has been attacked, tortured and arrested in a row that has sparked uproar in his village in Gujranwala district.
Please ask God to keep Simon and his family safe.
Release contacts in Pakistan say the row followed a dispute with another recycler who was not happy that Simon was gathering paper and bottles near the same religious monument as him. When burnt scraps of a Koran were allegedly found at the site last month, Simon got the blame.
Soon after Simon was arrested, a large mob broke into the police station and abducted him. They threatened to kill him and tortured him until local police called for back-up to bring the situation under control. Due to local unrest, Simon was twice transferred to other police stations. He is now being held in jail.
*We’ve changed Simon’s name for security reasons.
- Please pray for justice for Simon and his family: like many of Pakistan’s Christians, they are very poor and Simon’s father labours for Muslim landowners. Pray Simon will be released soon.
- Ask God to fill Simon with His peace and teach him how to trust his almighty Father through this ordeal.
- Pray that Pakistan’s authorities will do more to prevent abuse of the country’s widely misused blasphemy laws. Pray too that they will yield to international demands for legal reform.
(Source: Release contacts)
We praise God for the release of Indian pastor Tom Uzhunnalil who had been abducted in Yemen in March 2016. The priest was seized during a raid by gunmen on a care home near Aden in which 16 people were killed. Please continue to pray for God’s people in Yemen, amid continuing hardship and conflict. (Source: Middle East Concern)
Please pray for our Iranian brothers Eskandar Rezaei and Soroush Saraei, who were reportedly re-arrested in July and are now being held at Adel-Abad prison. They have been verbally charged with ‘acting against national security’, and Soroush has also been charged with ‘forgery’. The two men were previously arrested at a prayer meeting in Shiraz in 2012, and served one and two-and-a-half-year sentences respectively. Pray that they will be freed and all charges dropped. (Source: Middle East Concern)