Pakistani Christians wary of harsher blasphemy laws

By February 6, 2023

Pakistan (MNN) — The blasphemy laws in Pakistan are about to get worse. Pakistan’s lower parliament house unanimously passed a bill removing the option of bail for blasphemy charges and increasing the minimum prison sentence.

You may remember the viral case of Asia Bibi. She was a Pakistani Christian freed in 2018 after serving eight years on death row for false blasphemy accusations. It’s a prominent example of how Muslim extremists often use these blasphemy laws to manipulate and attack minority Christians.

Blasphemy laws are not the only way Pakistani believers are targeted. Take the nation’s food shortage, for example. Bruce Allen with FMI says, “You have to present your national ID card just to get a limited quantity of wheat. People are crying in the streets. They’re going days without food.”

Pakistan (Photo courtesy of FMI)

“One of the concerns we’ve had in the past has been when resources such as food is given out solely on the basis of a national ID card, will that promote discrimination against Christians? Because the ID cards do say if you’re Christian or Muslim.”

Pakistan is the second-largest Muslim-majority nation in the world. As Allen puts it, “Christians are not just a minority, but a despised minority.”

To make matters worse for minority Christians, roughly 85% of the Pakistani population has lost confidence in the government. “So it’s ripe for the Taliban or other groups to take advantage of these situations and show that the government is truly ineffective, or they cannot stamp out terrorism or take care of people and provide safety. And so the terrorists like to use this sort of opportunity to instill fear. That’s daily life in Pakistan now.”

However, Pakistani Christians are still practicing radical kindness as ambassadors for Jesus. Allen shares one story of an elderly Muslim woman. “She had waited in line so long for some flour. Her family had not eaten for days, and it was the Christians who took care of her and said, ‘Here, we’re giving you our flour.’

(Photo courtesy of FMI)

“That really speaks largely to people, to a watching world, when the Christians take care of the people who representatively would be the ones who abuse them, who persecute them. But that’s exactly what the Bible says to do: bless those who persecute you.”

Please pray for justice in Pakistan, and for hardened hearts to turn to Jesus.

Allen says, “We really appreciate people’s prayers for Pakistani society, and especially for the minority Christians there as they deal with these situations and still reflect the truth, the compassion, and the purposes of Jesus Christ.”

Click here to learn more about FMI.



Header photo courtesy of FMI.

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