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Lahore High Court building - Photo: Wikipedia / MariyamAftab
Lahore High Court
Photo: Wikipedia / MariyamAftab (cc)

Blasphemy accusations have been used as weapons against Christians in Pakistan for many years. The world's attention was most recently drawn to this situation through the case of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman who was accused in 2009 and sentenced to death. After finally being acquitted and released ten years later, Asia was forced to secretly flee the country.

Sajjad Masih Gill faced false accusations similar to those made against Asia. Charged in 2011 for allegedly sending blasphemous text messages (read more), he was sentenced to life in prison. This sentence was changed to the death penalty in March 2021.

During his time of imprisonment, Sajjad endured torture and ostracism. His brother and nephew were also attacked and threatened after visiting him in prison. Sajjad's appeal was delayed over a hundred times because the judges were not prepared to hear his case.

In light of the terrible treatment experienced by Sajjad, it brings great joy to report that he was released from prison on November 13th after being acquitted of all charges! The Lahore High Court ruled to acquit the Christian man on October 26th on the grounds of insufficient evidence. The news of the ruling was intentionally silenced to avoid putting his life, along with the lives of his family members and lawyer, in danger. According to his lawyer, Javed Sahorta, Sajjad is "very happy" but cannot return to his normal life. For security reasons, no further details are expected to be released.

Praise God that Sajjad has been acquitted! Please uphold this Christian man in your prayers as his advocates work to provide him with ongoing protection from the dangers of mob violence. Also prayerfully lift up his family members, legal representatives, and others who are connected to his case, praying for their safety during this time as well. May incidents such as these serve as an impetus for positive political and legal change in Pakistan, ultimately leading to the repeal of the country's coercive blasphemy laws.