Pakistan Christians Detained For "Blasphemy", "Robbery"

Thursday, June 25, 2009 | Tag Cloud

By Worthy News Asia Service

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN (Worthy News) -- Two Pakistani Christians remained detained Thursday, June 25, on false charges of "blasphemy" and "robbery", advocacy groups said.

Asia Bibi, 37, was reportedly detained by police on allegations of blasphemy in the village of Ittanwali in Punjab province on June 19, following heated discussions about Islam with Muslim women who work with her on a farm.

"Bibi told them that Christ died on the cross for their sins and asked them what Mohammed had done for them," said Voice Of the Martyrs Canada (VOMC), which monitored the case. "Our Christ is the true prophet of God and yours is not true," Bibi reportedly said.

The Muslim women allegedly became angry and began to beat her. "Some men then locked her in a room. Muslims announced from mosque loudspeakers a plan to punish Bibi by blackening her face and parading her through the village on a donkey. Local Christians informed police, who took Bibi into custody before Muslims could carry out their plan," VOMC said.

STILL HELD

She was believed to held Thursday, June 25, at a police station in Nankana city and local Christians were urging the police not to file blasphemy charges.

However, police officials reportedly said they must go forward due to pressure from local Muslim leaders. It came as elsewhere another 37-year-old Christian in Punjab province, Arshad Masih, was reportedly languishing in a Sialkot jail because his father was preaching Christ.

He had been in a hospital – chained to his bed on "false robbery charges" – after police torture that began December 28, 2008 left him incapacitated, said the Community Development Initiative (CDI), a support group that is providing Masih legal assistance.

He was discharged from Allama Iqbal Memorial Hospital in the city of Sialkot Saturday, June 20, but apparently returned to jail despite CDI efforts to get him released.

POLICE ORDERS

CDI said Masih was held on orders from a police station in the city of Gujranwala, where Masih’s father, Iqbal Masih, had been preaching Christ. His father linked the detention of his son to his work as a preacher.

A court reportedly ordered him released on bail after complainants didn't recognize him as a robber. However the court orders never arrived at a jail as police Sialkot police officers had him transferred to them for a new robbery case involving "unidentified people," CDI said.

Gujranwala police reportedly also threatened to kill Masih if told the court that he had been tortured. The cases come at a time of mounting religious tensions in Pakistan, where Christians have been held in several prisons on blasphemy and other charges.

Church groups say authorities have in several cases been reluctant or unwilling to support Christians, amid rising Islamic extremism in the mainly Muslim country.

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1 thought on “Pakistan Christians Detained For "Blasphemy", "Robbery"”

  1. Oh LORD

    Why are you so distant, LORD? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?

    The wicked person arrogantly pursues oppressed people. He will be caught in the schemes that he planned.

    The wicked person boasts about his selfish desires. He blesses robbers, but he curses the LORD.

    He turns up his nose and says, "God doesn't care." His every thought concludes, "There is no God."

    He always seems to succeed. Your judgments are beyond his understanding. He spits at all his opponents.

    He says to himself, "Nothing can shake me. I'll never face any trouble."

    His mouth is full of cursing, deception, and oppression. Trouble and wrongdoing are on the tip of his tongue.

    He waits in ambush in the villages. From his hiding places he kills innocent people. His eyes are on the lookout for victims.

    He lies in his hiding place like a lion in his den. He hides there to catch oppressed people. He catches oppressed people when he draws them into his net.

    His victims are crushed. They collapse, and they fall under the weight of his power.

    He says to himself, "God has forgotten. He has hidden his face. He will never see it!"

    Arise, O LORD! Lift your hand, O God. Do not forget oppressed people!

    Why does the wicked person despise God? Why does he say to himself, "God doesn't care"?

    You have seen it; yes, you have taken note of trouble and grief and placed them under your control. The victim entrusts himself to you. You alone have been the helper of orphans.

    Break the arm of the wicked and evil person. Punish his wickedness until you find no more.

    The LORD is king forever and ever. The nations have vanished from his land.

    You have heard the desire of oppressed people, O LORD. You encourage them. You pay close attention to them

    in order to provide justice for orphans and oppressed people so that no mere mortal will terrify them again. (Psalms 10 God's Word Translation)

    >>>>>()<<<<<

    "Then whoever calls on the name of the LORD will be saved. Those who escape will be on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem. Among the survivors will be those whom the LORD calls, as the LORD has promised." Joel 2:32

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