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Pakistan Christian Serving Life Imprisonment For "Blasphemy"

Tuesday, February 23, 2010 | , Tag Cloud

By Worthy News Asia Service

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN (Worthy News)-- A Christian man continued serving a life sentence Pakistan's Punjab province Tuesday, February 23, on what international rights activists said are "false allegations" of blasphemy.

A Pakistani court in the city of Faisalabad sentenced Imran Masih, 26, to life imprisonment and fined him 100,000 Pakistani Rupees (about $1200) on January 11, after his Muslim neighbor accused him of burning the Koran, seen a holy book by Muslims.

Masih has denied the charges saying he came across Arabic literature while cleaning his shop.

He said that before trashing it, he asked his Muslim neighbor whether the book was Islamic literature. After being assured that it was not an Islamic book, Masih apparently burned the book.

BURNED BOOK

His neighbor however showed the half-burned book to passersby and accused Masih of desecrating the Koran, Christians said. Soon after, local mosques apparently incited Muslims to attack Masih by announcing that he had desecrated the Koran.

At the time of arrest in July, a mob of 400 Muslims gathered outside Masih’s home and apparently overpowered police and attacked him.

"The family of Masih immediately fled from Faisalabad because the Muslim protesters wanted to kill them," said International Christian Concern (ICC) an advocacy group closely monitoring the case.

Family members have reportedly said that the neighbor "falsely accused Masih of desecrating the Koran because he wanted to rent the shop that Masih rented to run his business."

Church groups say Christians in Pakistan have repeatedly been attacked by Muslim mobs over blasphemy allegations.

LIFE IMPRISONMENT

Pakistan Penal Code punishes with life imprisonment those who "offend" the Koran and with the sentencing to death those who insult the Prophet Muhammad.

Some 1,000 people are believed to have been indicted, while Christians have reportedly also suffered attacks and dozens of extra-judicial killings in the predominantly Muslim nation.

ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa and South Asia, Jonathan Racho, told BosNewsLife that his group has urged Pakistani officials to release Imran Masih "and ensure the safety of his family."

Rights groups have demanded that Pakistan revise its blasphemy legislation saying it "continues to be abused" by Muslims "to settle personal grudges against Christians” in this predominantly Islamic nation. (With reporting by Worthy News' Stefan J. Bos).

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Worthy Christian News » Christian » Pakistan Christian Serving Life Imprisonment For "Blasphemy"

2 thoughts on “Pakistan Christian Serving Life Imprisonment For "Blasphemy"

  1. Praying!

    "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."
    Jeremiah 29:11

    Open Their Eyes Lord

    "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
    In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."
    2 Corinthians 4:3-4

    Save Now!

    "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
    That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
    For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
    John 3:14-16

    Hallelujah!

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Worthy Christian News » Christian » Pakistan Christian Serving Life Imprisonment For "Blasphemy"