Posts Tagged ‘blasphemy’
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Thursday, April 17th, 2014
Christians in Pakistan received startling news when they read a statement made by a Muslim cleric once thought to be liberal. The cleric said that Pakistan should not release blasphemers in reference to allowed Christian accused of blasphemy being allowed to pay bail prior to being convicted in court. Many Christians in Pakistan fear that this statement from this cleric, who had assisted Christians in the past with issues related to blasphemy laws, marks a change in attitude for Pakistan's identity and treatment of Christians as a whole. Please pray for those falsely accused of blasphemy in Pakistan
Wednesday, April 16th, 2014
British Prime Minister David Cameron has been urged to bring up the issues of blasphemy laws during his next meeting with Pakistan's leadership. The controversial laws have often been criticized by international human rights groups who claim the laws used as a weapon by extremists to settle personal scores or for financial gain. Christians and other religious minorities within Pakistan are disproportionately accused and punished under Pakistan's blasphemy laws which can carry capital punishment for those found guilty. Currently, 4 Christians are on death row in Pakistan for allegedly committing blasphemy. Please pray that more world leaders confront Pakistan and its blasphemy laws.
Tuesday, April 15th, 2014
Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws are often cited as among the toughest issues faced by Christians living in Pakistan. One of the most religiously hostile places on the planet, Pakistan's blasphemy laws have become a useful tool for extremists seeking to abuse religious minorities, including and especially Christians. Those accused under the "black laws" are often convicted with little or no proof and accusers are almost never charged with crimes of violence which are often unleashed once a blasphemy accusation is made. Please remember the Christians of Pakistan in your prayers today.
Monday, April 14th, 2014
The appeal hearing for the blasphemy charge against Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi was delayed for a third time today. After two delays in March, the Lahore High Court had set the date of the appeal for April 14. After briefly holding the hearing, the judges postponed the case again to a later date. The judges hearing the appeal are both thought to be under extreme pressure from hard-liner groups who are demanding the court confirm the death sentence passed on Asia Bibi for blasphemy in 2010. Please pray that justice will be done in this case.
Sunday, April 13th, 2014
The appeal hearing for Asia Bibi has been set for Monday, April 14. Asia is a Christian women who was sentenced to death for allegedly committing blasphemy against Islam in Pakistan. Many believe that Asia will be released on appeal, but there are still some who fear Pakistan will carry through its death sentence. Please remember to pray for Asia and her appeal.
Sunday, April 13th, 2014
Christian organizations close to the Asia Bibi blasphemy appeal fear that the Lahore High Court may uphold the death sentence Asia received following a dispute with Muslims in 2009. The case against Asia is typical of blasphemy cases brought against Christians in Pakistan who are often targeted by the law for abuse or score settling. Please take time to pray for Asia and other Christians currently standing accused of blasphemy.
Wednesday, April 9th, 2014
A Christian couple in Pakistan was sentenced to death under Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws on April 4th. The couple, who are illiterate, are accused of sending blasphemous text messages. The lawyer for the Christian couple has claimed that the judge was pressured into sentencing his clients to death. Following this sentencing, Pakistan now has four Christians on death row convicted of blasphemy. Many international critics claim that Pakistan's blasphemy laws are often misused to persecute religious minorities or settle personal scores.
Tuesday, April 8th, 2014
A Pakistani Christian couple sentenced to death last week for blasphemy are planning to appeal their death sentences. The couple was accused of sending blasphemous text messages from a SIM card registered to their names. The couple claims the phone containing the card in question was lost prior to the texts being sent and claim the judgment against them was influenced illegally. Please pray for these two Christians as they suffer under Pakistan's controversial blasphemy law.
Monday, April 7th, 2014
Christians in Lahore, Pakistan gathered together and held a peaceful protest against the misuse of the country's controversial blasphemy laws. In Pakistan, committing blasphemy against Islam can carry a punishment as serious as capital punishment. In the past month, three Christians have been convicted under the country's blasphemy laws, all being awarded the death penalty. Many Christians and human rights organizations have pointed out that Pakistan's blasphemy laws are frequently misused and often target Christians. Will the world continue to turn a blind eye?
Sunday, April 6th, 2014
Following the sentencing of Pakistani Christian Sawan Masih, Pakistan has sentenced another two Christians to death for blasphemy. This time a Christian couple from the province of Punjab was sentenced to death after being accused of sending blasphemous text messages. The prosecution's case against the couple has been criticized by the defense, who claim the judge in the case gave into Islamic pressures. Please pray for this couple and all other Pakistani Christians who are forced to live under this black law.
Thursday, April 3rd, 2014
Christians and other human right activists participated in a prayer and fasting service to show solidarity for two Pakistani Christians currently suffering under Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws. Last week, Sawan Masih was sentenced to death following a year long trial in which he was accused of making derogatory remarks about the prophet Mohammad. Also, the appeal of Christian woman Asia Bibi continues as she was also sentenced to death for allegedly making derogatory remarks against the Islamic prophet. Please, take a moment to remember these two persecuted Christians today.
Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014
Lawyers for Sawan Masih, a Pakistani Christian man sentenced to death for blasphemy, have appealed his conviction. Masih's lawyers believe the blasphemy accusation made against Masih was a front for Muslim business men to evict Christians from a local neighborhood. Blasphemy laws in Pakistan continue to be abused against religious minorities, sometime to settle personal scores and other times for financial gain.
Saturday, March 29th, 2014
Lawyers working on the blasphemy case filed against Pakistani Christian Sawan Masih have criticized the court's decision to hand down the death penalty. Based on the timing the blasphemy accusation was filed with the police, lawyers claim the accused blasphemous statements were an afterthought meant to fortify a bogus accusation. Masih's lawyers are already preparing their appeal and expect the case to be acquitted in the Lahore High Court.
Friday, March 28th, 2014
Sawan Masih, a Pakistani Christian accused of blasphemy, was sentenced to death for committing blasphemy in court in Lahore, Pakistan. Last March, Sawan was accused of making derogatory remarks against Mohammed after a fight with a Muslim friend. This accusations led to broader violence against the Christian community Sawan resided in called Joseph Colony. Many human rights organizations continue to criticize Pakistan for its controversial blasphemy laws which disproportionately affect Christians and other religious minorities.
Thursday, March 27th, 2014
The hearing of the appeal for Asia Bibi in Pakistan has been postponed a second time after her accuser did not appear in the courtroom. In 2009, Asia was falsely accused of blasphemy after drinking from a well that villages claimed was for Muslims only. After arguing with the Muslim villagers, a local cleric filed a blasphemy case against Asia, the only Christian in the village. Since then, the case has become internationally known after Asia was sentenced to death in 2010. Please pray for justice to be done in this case.
Wednesday, March 12th, 2014
Monday, March 3rd, 2014
On March 2nd, Christians in Pakistan marked the third anniversary of the slaying of Shahbaz Bhatti. Bhatti, the Federal Minister for Religious Minorities, was assassinated shortly after speaking out against Pakistan's abusive blasphemy laws and defending Christian mother, Asia Bibi. Bhatti, a Christian himself, believed that Pakistan's blasphemy laws were abusive and unequally used against Christians. Please remember Bhatti and Christians in Pakistan today.
Thursday, February 20th, 2014
Pakistan continues to be criticized by the international community for its abusive and controversial blasphemy laws. In Pakistan, defiling a Quran, defaming the Prophet Mohammed or hurting religious feelings can warrant life imprisonment and even execution. Unfortunately, these laws are used to persecute religious minorities in Pakistan, including Christians. Today, even openly standing for reform to the blasphemy laws is enough to invite violence. Will Pakistan ever be able to reform?
Wednesday, February 19th, 2014
In March 2011, the then minister for minority affairs, Shahbaz Bhatti, was assassinated by Islamic radicals because of his open criticism of Pakistan's controversial and abusive blasphemy laws. Bhatti specifically highlighted how the blasphemy laws were disproportionately abused to persecute Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan. He also spoke boldly in the blasphemy case against a Christian woman, Asia Bibi. Now, the Bhatti's killers may go free due to death threats and intimidation.
Monday, February 17th, 2014
Due to death threats and peace talks between the Pakistani Taliban and the government, the killers of Christian cabinet minister, Shahbaz Bhatti, could be released from prison without facing justice. In 2011, Shahbaz Bhatti was gunned down due to his criticism of Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws. Calling for reform to the laws, Shahbaz was among the only government official brave enough to speak out publicly about the laws and how they were abused against religious minorities, especially Christians. Will Shahbaz and his family ever receive justice?
Sunday, February 16th, 2014
Pakistan remains among the most hostile nations for religious minorities. Christians, who make up only 2% of Pakistan's population, face persecution and hostility from many angles. False blasphemy accusations, church bombings, kidnappings and general communal violence are just a few of the issues faced by Christians in Pakistan. Please, remember Christians living in Pakistan in your prayers today.
Thursday, February 13th, 2014
Wednesday, February 12th, 2014
Pakistan's abusive and controversial blasphemy laws continues to at the root of many instances of Christian persecution in Pakistan. Often used to settle personal scores or for economic gain, the blasphemy laws are often wielded as a weapon of choice when it comes to abusing religious minorities in Pakistan. Many of the critics of the blasphemy laws have come under threat from extremist groups and two of the country's most vocal critics were murdered for calling for reform to the blasphemy laws. Will things ever change? Will Pakistan ever be able to put the issue of blasphemy in the past?
Monday, February 10th, 2014
Pakistan continues to be among the most difficult and hostile countries for religious minorities. Faced with social violence, extremists groups, discrimination and blasphemy laws, the Christian population of Pakistan, which only makes up around 2% of the country, must struggle to survive. Despite this overwhelming amount of persecution, Christians and other minority religions in Pakistan are stepping up to protect themselves and resist the persecution they face daily.
Sunday, February 9th, 2014
The elder brother of assassinated Christian government minister Shahbaz Bhatti has fled Pakistan following death treats issued by Islamic militants. In 2011, Shahbaz Bhatti, the then Minister of National Harmony and Minority Affairs, was assassinated after he openly criticized Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws. When he began calling for reform to the country's stance on the issue of blasphemy, Shahbaz Bhatti was assassinated by Islamic extremists. Following his murder, many have feared speaking out against Pakistan's blasphemy laws.
Saturday, February 8th, 2014
A Pakistani court has canceled the bails of 36 men accused of participating in an attack on a Christian neighborhood last March. The attack followed a blasphemy accusation being leveled against a Christian man from that neighborhood. Blasphemy accusations continue to be among the major causes of Christian persecution in Pakistan. Please pray that justice is done in this case.
Wednesday, February 5th, 2014
Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws continue to be at the root of many incidents of Christians persecution in the South Asian nation. Frequently abused by Pakistan's Sunni Muslim majority, religious minorities, including Christians, understand that even the slightest altercation can lead to a trumped up blasphemy charge being leveled against them. These allegations, whether false or not, often are a prelude to broader communal violence focused against religious minorities. In March 2013, a blasphemy accusation against a Christians in Lahore led to the destruction of an entire Christian neighborhood called Joseph Colony.
Tuesday, February 4th, 2014
The Lahore High Court has revoked the bail of 36 suspected radicals charged in connection with the attack on the Christian neighborhood, Joseph Colony, in March 2013. According to reports, these radicals burned down over 180 Christian homes, shops and properties following the claim that a Christian man from Joseph Colony has committed blasphemy. Blasphemy accusations continue to be a prelude to larger communal violence and are at times used as an excuse to attack Christian neighborhoods. Please pray that justice is done in this case.