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PAKISTAN: Prayers are needed for Sawan Masih who has been on death row for blasphemy since 2014. Masih was accused by his Muslim friend, Shahid Imran, of making derogatory remarks against the Prophet Muhammad in 2013. A case was registered against him under section 295-C of the Blasphemy Law which has a mandatory death penalty. Masih says the charge is false.
His case became internationally known when a large Muslim mob violently attacked Masih’s residential area, Joseph Colony, in Badami Bagh Lahore. The local mosque broadcasted the accusation via loudspeakers and a mob of more than 3,000 Muslims attacked Sawan’s home, looted and torched 180 Christian homes, 75 shops and at least two churches. Witnesses say the police stood and watched instead of stopping the attackers and protecting local Christians and their property.
Hundreds of families were displaced as the mob threatened to burn Christians alive in their homes unless they left. Sawan Masih was handed over to the police and has remained in custody ever since. See our March 2013 report and photos of the violent mob attack
On March 27, 2014 the Lower Court sentenced Masih to death for committing blasphemy. Soon after this verdict CLAAS filed an appeal against the conviction in the Lahore High Court, which is scheduled to be heard on Tuesday, November 27, 2018.
Sawan Masih’s wife and three children are very concerned and living in fear. CLAAS is providing free legal aid to Sawan Masih. Prayers have been requested and considered crucial for his safety and release.
Nasir Saeed, director of CLAAS-UK said, “This is a very unfortunate situation as although Asia Bibi was acquitted on October 31 by the Pakistan Supreme Court, she is not allowed to leave Pakistan despite several western countries being willing to accept her and her family.”
He added, “This is because the leader of the Islamist party Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan has threatened the government, saying if she leaves the country, there will be war. Unfortunately for the last several decades, Islamist groups in Pakistan have become more powerful than the state. Now the situation is that everyone, whether it is the prime minister or the chief justice of Pakistan, they have to proclaim publicly that they equally love the prophet and would sacrifice their life for the prophet.
A review petition and separately a petition to add her name in the exit control list (ECL) has been filed in the supreme court and keeping in view the present situation I don’t think the review petition will be heard very soon.”
Mr Saeed also said, “Pakistan’s President Dr Arif Alvi’s statement that the government will not amend the blasphemy law is not very encouraging as we all know the blasphemy law is often used by Muslims to settle personal grudges and scores against their rivals, and Christians are the main target. He said the blasphemy law needs change to stop its continuous misuse and the international community needs to remind Pakistan of this regularly.”
(Voice of the Persecuted) VOP has confirmed reports that Pervaiz Masih, a Christian asylum seeker held in the Thailand’s Immigration Detention Centre (IDC) has died.
Pakistani Christian escaping persecution, oppressive conditions and constant threats of violence by extremists in Pakistan, flee to Thailand. Registered as asylum seekers with the UNHCR, their visa’s expire while waiting for their scheduled asylum interviews which can take years. The Thailand government does work with or not recognize UNHCR asylum certificates and considers these persecuted Christians as illegals.
On September 10, 2015, immigration officers along with Thai military forces and police officers raided a low rent apartment complex known to house Pakistani Christian asylum seekers. Masih was arrested with hundreds that morning and living in the deplorable conditions of the IDC for the past 4 months.
Pervaiz Masih had a heart attack and died after being transferred from IDC to Police General Hospital. Pervaiz Masih died is survived by his wife , 4 children and 2 grandchildren.
Please pray for God to comfort the family during this time of extreme grief.
Voice of the Persecuted is helping to care for persecuted Christians seeking asylum in Thailand, including covering the monthly expenses of the in great suffering and getting nutritional food into the IDC as they are fed nothing but cucumbers and rice in boiling water. The children detained with their parents are also give the same. Help us do more in 2016 to comfort our brothers and sisters suffering in harsh conditions in Thailand.
Together with your generous help, we can reach the goal to alleviate horrific suffering. In darkness and desperation, let us serve in love, with open arms and giving hands to provide light and hope.
Everyday, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and further His Kingdom! As you greatly bless others, may God continue to bless you. Thank you so much for your support. We couldn’t do it without you!
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Karachi: September 10, 2013. (PCP) The Central Executive Council of Pakistan Christian Congress PCC endorsed the demand of the division of Pakistan in more provinces as administrative units made by Altaf Hussain, Chief of MQM here today.
The Central Executive Council of PCC in a press note said that President of Pakistan Christian Congress Dr. Nazir S Bhatti demanded formation of a Separate Christian Province on division of Punjab and to divide Pakistan in 27 provinces as administrative units in 1992.
The division of Pakistan in new provinces is the only solution to end poverty and terror in Pakistan. The distribution of resources of State will be easy in more administrative units to promote peace and harmony among different ethnic and religious communities in Pakistan.
Dr. Nazir Bhatti, commenting on the demand of Mr. Altaf Hussain said,
“The division of Pakistan in a more administrative unit is solution to the problems of Pakistan, but without the formation of a Separate Christian province peace and harmony cannot prevail in Pakistan”
Dr. Nazir Bhatti said “Christians are second biggest population factor of Pakistan, but they are treated as 2nd class citizens in a state for which they voted to formulate, but their due rights and share in resources of the state have been denied by majority Muslim community in Pakistan. After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, in such circumstances the demand of Separate Christian Province as administrative unit of federation is just”
“Pakistani Christian also second the proposal of Dr. Tahir Ul Qadri, Chief of Minhaj-Ul-Quran to divide Pakistan in 32 Provinces. Without inclusion of the demand of Separate Christian Province none will be acceptable to Christians who are 13% of population of Pakistan” added Nazir Bhatti
Nazir Bhatti said that the Christian youth is deprived of employment opportunities in Pakistan, due to which Pakistani Christians are facing economic crisis and living below poverty line comparing to Muslims.
The enforced conversion to Islam of Christian women and denial of justice to the Christian families have forced them isolation in Muslim dominated society which can harm integrity of Pakistan.
Dr. Nazir Bhatti expressed concerns on not inviting any Christian political party in decision making forums of the government of Pakistan and said that such trends are to push Christians out of the mainstream politics of Pakistan.
PCC Chief urged Muslim leaders to include formation of Separate Christian Province in division of Pakistan in more provinces as administrative units.