A 70-year-old Christian has just been arrested for making ‘blasphemous’ comments in a letter – at the same time as more than 100 Muslims have been cleared of virtually destroying a Christian community during a blasphemy row.
Mukhtar Masih, a Christian from Gujranwala, Punjab, is now in custody accused of derogatory remarks about the Koran and Islam’s prophet, Mohammed. On the same day, an Anti-Terrorism Court cleared 106 men of attacking Joseph Colony in Lahore in 2013.
Please pray that true justice will be done – and be seen to be done – for Mukhtar and the many others Christians accused of blasphemy in Pakistan.
Mukhtar’s entire family was detained with him on January 28, including his three grandchildren. All but Mukhtar were later released but have had to go into hiding. Locals believe that the motive behind the allegations against him is a bid to seize his property.
The riots in Joseph Colony in 2013 saw thousands of rioters loot and torch more than 150 homes, after a Christian road-sweeper named Sawan Masih was accused of blasphemy. He was sentenced to death in 2014 and his appeal has yet to be heard. The rioters were released on bail the day they were accused.
In stark contrast, Pakistan’s Supreme Court has just granted bail to evangelist Adnan Prince more than two years after he was detained over accusations he had written blasphemous comments in a book about Islam. Defence lawyers argued the case against him was flawed, leading to his release on bail.
- Ask God to comfort and protect Mukhtar and Sawan, and their families.
- Pray that almighty God will be their advocate and help secure justice for them, despite widespread abuse of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws to persecute Christians.
- Continue to pray for the repeal of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.
(Sources: Morning Star News)