Pakistani Drops ‘Blasphemy’ charge in Sangla Hill case

By January 16, 2006

Pakistan (MNN)–A Pakistani Muslim in the Punjabi town of Sangla Hill dropped formal charges against a Christian he accused of desecrating the Quran.

Mohammed Saleem’s accusation landed Yousaf Masih in jail for allegedly desecrating the Quran. It also led to a wild rampage in the town in late November.

Open Doors’ Ministries’ Jerry Dykstra. “About two thousand Muslim extremists attacked Christian houses and churches and a missionary school there. Some of those were burnt down. An agreement has been reached to drop charges against him.”

That agreement promises to end ongoing harassment against Sangla Hill’s Christians. According a report from Compass Direct, local Christian leaders agreed not to press charges against the mob of 2,000 Muslims who attacked the town’s Christian community.

Police have held 88 rioters in custody since the assault. Bail has been denied to the 88 rioters, and Masih also remains under arrest.

Dykstra says it’s unlikely that the Christians will see a lot of cooperation. “In Pakistan, the government has yet to fulfill promises to cover the full cost of repairing the four churches and the mission-run school, and homes that were destroyed. This is often the case in countries like Pakistan where the government promises freedoms, but they hardly ever come through.”

Pray for the believers in the region, that their faith and testimony remains strong.

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