Death sentence for Pakistani Christian accused of blasphemy
A Christian who has been held in custody awaiting trial since 2013 has been sentenced to death by a court in Pakistan.
Asif Pervaiz, aged 37, was accused of sending offensive texts about Islam, the Koran and Islam’s Prophet Muhammad on a mobile phone. According to the defence, the charge was an act of revenge by Muhammad Saeed Khokhar, Asif’s supervisor at a hosiery manufacturing business.
The court in Lahore ruled that Asif did not offer enough evidence for his innocence and, as there was enough material to charge him, he was sentenced to death.
Khokhar told police he had received abusive messages on his phone for several days. In his defence, Asif said the accusations were made after he decided to quit his job because he had rejected Khokhar’s efforts to convert him to Islam.
Asif’s lawyer said the court had sentenced Asif even though there was no evidence implicating him personally. He will appeal against the sentence.
- Please pray for justice for Asif and that his appeal will be heard soon and will be successful.
- Pray that God will strengthen him and all other Christians who are behind bars accused of blasphemy in Pakistan. Pray too that God would provide for their families.
- Pray for an end to the blasphemy laws which have been misused over the years disproportionately to target Christians.
(Sources: Al Jazeera, Asia News)