PAKISTAN – A Christian arrested for alleged blasphemy

More spurious but potentially life-threatening cases of accusation of blasphemy in Pakistan.

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Salman Taseer’s son charged with “hate speech”

A Christmas message calling for prayers for those charged under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws has led to death threats against the son of Salman Taseer, the Punjab Governor assassinated six years ago for his support of Asia Bibi and his opposition to the blasphemy laws. Read more

Meanwhile, in a new blasphemy case, Muslims in Pakistan have filed charges against Babu Shahbaz Masih (40), a Christian from Kamaha village, Lahore. He has been taken into custody, accused of desecrating pages from the Quran. Read more

PAKISTAN – Illiterate evangelist accused of Quran “blasphemy” released but family still unable to return home

After 30 days in custody, police have released Babu Shahbaz Masih, an illiterate evangelist from Lahore, who was arrested and accused of “blasphemy” in December after pages of the Quran with his name written on them were found in the street. Although he has been cleared of all charges, police have advised 41-year-old Babu, his wife and three children not to return home, as local Muslims are still pressuring police to charge him. Christians accused of “blasphemy” are rarely able to go back to their former lives, even if, as in Babu’s case, charges have been dropped, because of often violent threats from zealous Muslims.

From Barnabas Fund project partners

 

Babu has been released without charge, but he and his family are still unable to return home
Babu has been released without charge, but he and his family are still unable to return home

 

VOICE OF THE PERSECUTED

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Lahore (Agenzia Fides) – Babu Shahbaz, a Christian from the village of Kamahan, near Lahore, was arrested by the police for alleged blasphemy. As Fides learns, on December 30 a formal complaint was filed to the police against Babu Shahbaz, under Article 295 b of the Penal Code of Pakistan. The complaint came after the Muslim, Haji Nadeem accused the Christian of having torn and thrown pages of the Koran in the street. Shahbaz is illiterate and cannot write.

Babu Shahbaz, 41, lives in the village of Kamahan, is married and has three children. An evangelical Christian who in the past 15 years has organized prayer meetings at his house, and many Christians and Muslims participate in the small home meetings, asking blessings and healing prayer. The local Muslims have shown impatience towards the growing popularity of Shahbaz and therefore have accused him of a false case of…

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