Pakistani Christian faces blasphemy charges for posting Bible verse

By July 7, 2023

Pakistan (MNN) — A Christian in Pakistan has gone into hiding along with his wife and six children after a Muslim mob accused him of blasphemy for posting a Bible verse on Facebook.

Last Thursday, June 29, Haroon Shahzad posted 1 Corinthians 10:18-21 regarding food sacrificed to idols. He didn’t include any additional commentary in his post besides the Bible passage. A Muslim villager screenshot the post and accused Shahzad of blasphemy. Muslims were beginning the festival Eid al-Adha in which an animal is slaughtered for the celebration.

The screenshot of the Christian’s post circulated on local media, and on Friday a local mosque made an announcement on loudspeakers prompting Muslims to gather in protest. Shahzad and dozens of other Christian families fled the village.

Pakistan (Photo courtesy of FMI)

Nehemiah with FMI says, “Pakistan has a culture of mob. There is a ‘mob-ism’ in Pakistan where a Muslim mob would come and they vandalize the entire village, kill people, burn that village, and this is very, very common.”

Police have registered a blasphemy case against Shahzad and are pressuring him to turn himself in.

A new agreement signed on June 17 in Pakistan now allows blasphemy cases to be tried under the country’s anti-terrorism laws.

Nehemiah with FMI says, “It also makes the charges of blasphemy an offense for which bail is not possible. The moment you are charged, cops are gonna come and pick you up and you vanish. They punish people in a few days without even hearing their side of the story, and most of the time, access to attorneys [is] being denied to such accused people.”

FMI supports Pakistani believers as they share the Gospel in their communities, and sometimes is able to offer legal aid when Christians are targeted for their faith.

(Photo courtesy of FMI)

“We have people on the ground who share news with us. Every day, there are multiple stories. Every day, there are people who are being killed, who are being framed in false accusations. They are behind bars for doing nothing, for just posting a verse on Facebook.”

Awareness allows you to pray. Nehemiah asks, “I would just request our brothers and sisters to pray for protection and power for believers. Pray that people in Pakistan who have not yet heard the Gospel would be given that opportunity. Pray for open doors for Christians to share Jesus and lives to be transformed.”








Header photo courtesy of Abuzar Xheikh/Unsplash.

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