By Sarah Kearney
06/29/2017 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – Pakistan’s blasphemy laws have consistently proven to be a deadly source of persecution for Christians. While blasphemy laws are supposed to be enforced equally against both Muslims and Christians, there is a double standard in the law’s implementation. The dominant Muslim population and governing officials level blasphemy charges against Christians without recourse. Muslims, for example, can use fake blasphemy charges to settle petty disputes against Christians which can result in death sentences for Christians.
A fake blasphemy charge resulted in a mentally ill Christian boy’s imprisonment. Zain Lone frequently exhibits immature and random outbursts which may have contributed to his blasphemy charge. Without consulting doctors or attempting to understand his condition, Muslims chose to falsely accuse Zain of blasphemy which resulted in his imprisonment.
Before his imprisonment, Zain supported his family by working at the local market, packing fruit bags. Since Zain’s imprisonment, his brother, Talha, has been taking care of their widowed mother and three sisters.
Without Zain’s support, the Lone family needs a source of income. With the help of our donors, we funded a fruit and vegetable stand for Talha in order to provide for his family. We were able to provide a variety of fruits and vegetables for the business, as well as tools, frames, baskets, and the shop’s rent for the first few months.
The Lone family was very grateful for the help to initiate their business.
Talha, the brother of Zain Lone, said, “This support is wonderful. I never thought of having my own business, however I am thankful to God and the ICC team for thinking of me and making it possible for me. For years, I have been working as a laborer in the fruits’ market; therefore, this is great blessing upon me and my family, which will bring 100 times results for us. Thank you ICC.”
While the business will not free her son, Amal Lone said, “Of course my son is most important for me, however this small business is [a] wonderful effort by your team. My [other] son will take care of this business, but I pray and wish [that] my son Zain could come home back. I am happy with your solidarity actions. May God bless you all.”
“I cannot forget those moments when our house was attacked and all of us were beaten by Muslim men. It looked like a last day of life, however we managed [to escape] and [are] thankful to ICC for providing us this accommodation and a small business of fruits and vegetables. Our life was almost [over], however we are breathing because of ICC’s love and concern,” said Farida, Zain’s sister-in-law.
We pray that the small business will grow and provide the Lone family with stability as Zain is in prison. They ask for prayer for Christians living in Pakistan, specifically for their safety and protection, strengthened businesses, their religious freedom, and a secure future in Pakistan.