Pakistan (MNN) – We’re continuing with an inside look at the legal proceedings of Pakistan’s blasphemy law through the case of Ahmed: a highly influential co-laborer for the Gospel inside Pakistan.
Blasphemy Law Challenges
Recently, Pakistan asked Facebook and Twitter to help the government in finding Pakistanis outside of the country who are posting blasphemous content. If Facebook and Twitter comply, the Pakistani government could extradite individuals for blasphemy trials in Pakistan. No information has been given as to whether Facebook and Twitter will help.
“When you look at how the blasphemy laws are used in Pakistan, the majority of cases are centered in one region of the country. And that’s the region where most of the people who are minorities, like Christians, live. So, they’re facing quite a bit of legal challenge in their own country,” FMI’s Bruce Allen shares.
In fact, the blasphemy law doesn’t even require the accusers to provide evidence of the blasphemy case, yet, the penalty of the crime is a mandatory death sentence. But, it seems that in Ahmed’s case, the judge is requiring evidence. However, Ahmed is still facing challenges in his trial.
“Since the prosecution knows that so much of their case is fabricated–over the weekend the prosecuting attorney went to the defense attorney’s office to hold a meeting,” Allen explains. “And he literally threatened the defense lawyer’s life. [He] said, ‘If you do not withdraw from supporting Ahmed and defending him against these charges, we will kill you.’”
The threat on Ahmed’s defense lawyer’s life is not an unusual one. Other lawyers have received similar death threats in the past while defending an individual accused of blasphemy. Still, these threats are not to be taken lightly. In the past, Pakistani lawyers have had outright brawls in the courtroom, opponents have been killed in front of judges, and lawyers have been murdered for defending individuals accused of blasphemy.
However, despite the threats, Ahmed’s lawyer stood up to the person(s) threatening him and is continuing with Ahmed’s case. The next problem, though, comes when Ahmed was supposed to have his third hearing of the trial on Tuesday.
But, because of disruptions in the court, the hearing had to be postponed. It was also at this time Ahmed’s lawyer was going to bring to the attention of the judge the death threat he had received from the prosecuting attorney.
“We see much more than just a legal battle going on, we see spiritual warfare where enemies of Christ are so bent on destroying and defaming this co-laborer for the Gospel inside Pakistan that they will stop at nothing to get rid of him…as well as anyone who supports him,” Allen explains.
The prosecuting attorney has also tried to add on additional charges to Ahmed’s case. This maneuver is illegal and Ahmed’s lawyer is appealing to have these additional charges dismissed.
How to Pray
Regardless of the attacks, though, God has been faithful in Ahmed’s case, and it’s not in his nature to be unfaithful. So please, will you join in praying for Ahmed, his family, and the dismissal of his case.
First off, start with praising God for the courageousness of both this fair judge and of Ahmed’s lawyer. Also, praise God for his hand of protection in the trial. But please, continue praying for Ahmed’s acquittal, his safety, his faith, and his encouragement. Pray for his family’s safety and encouragement as well. Especially since this week Ahmed’s family will be celebrating his son’s birthday.
Ask God to continue protecting Ahmed and for any attempts to do evil to him or his family to be thwarted. Also, pray for the protection of Ahmed’s lawyer and for this same man to encounter Christ. And finally, pray for Pakistan to amend and/or get rid of its blasphemy law.
To tangibly help, will you give to help Ahmed with his attorney fees? His fees could range anywhere from $5,000 to $8000. And with each hearing, more fees are accumulated.
**Please continue to send in prayers and notes of encouragement to Ahmed either through emailing FMI or posting on Mission Network New’s Facebook page. Ahmed has been receiving these notes and has been greatly encouraged by them.