Christian Couple Sentenced to Death for 'Blasphemous' Texts

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Shagufta and Shafqat
Photo via World Watch Monitor

A Pakistani court has sentenced a Christian couple to death for insulting Mohammed and the Quran. Shafqat Emmanuel, 44, and his wife, Shagufta, 41, who live in Gojra, Punjab, were convicted on April 4th of sending "blasphemous" text messages.

The complainant, Muhammad Hussain, alleged he was praying on July 18th of last year when he received blasphemous text messages on his cell phone. Muhammad's call data reportedly revealed the messages were sent from Shagufta's cell phone number. The police, however, were unable to recover the SIM card from her phone, and Shagufta argued that she lost her cell phone a month prior to the incident.

Nevertheless, the Gojra police detained the couple, along with their four children (ages five through 13), pressuring them to name someone who could have sent the messages. At last report, the couple was planning to appeal the verdict.

Pray that mercy will be extended to this Christian couple by those of the judicial system, granting them a swift release. Please also bring this couple's children to our Lord in prayer, as Shafqat and Shagufta have been unable to visit with them since their arrest last summer. May God strengthen the faith of each family member, encouraging them to trust Him wholeheartedly throughout this ordeal. Finally, please intercede on behalf of two other believers, Sawan Masih and Asia Bibi, who have also been sentenced to death for blasphemy in Pakistan.

To watch a three-minute video report about these false charges, please visit this page.

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