A Christian man was allegedly killed by a group of militant Muslims for defending his sister's honour. On May 23rd, Arif Masih was kidnapped, beaten, poisoned and abandoned on a street of Tariqabad village in Punjab.
After seven years on death row, Shafqat Emmanuel and his wife Shagufta Kausar were cleared of all charges against them by a Pakistani court on June 3rd, 2021. They were convicted on April 4th, 2014, after being accused of sending "blasphemous" text messages. The texts were allegedly sent from Shagufta's phone, which had gone missing a month prior and was never recovered. Furthermore, as the couple are illiterate, they would not have been able to send the alleged texts. (See this page for more details on the original conviction.)
On February 27th, Pastor Rachid Seighir was convicted of "shaking the faith" of Muslims through the availability of materials in his church's bookstore in Oran, Algeria. He, along with his bookstore sales representative, Nouh Hamimi, were sentenced to two years in prison. For more on this case, see this report.
The men appealed the decision, and a ruling was expected on May 30th. After a week's delay, the judgement was reduced on June 6th to a one-year suspended sentence, along with a fine of $1,800.00 CAD each. The men intend to appeal their initial conviction.
Government-Mandated Church Closures
A court in Saudi Arabia has recently imposed a hefty fine of 300,000 SAR (which converted equates to approximately $97,000 CAD) on a Christian man who can only be identified as "A" or "Adam" for security reasons. He has been given 30 days to pay the fine unless an appeal is granted within that time.