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Salamat Mansha Masih sourrounded by officers and speaking to his mother and lawyer
Salamat speaking with his mother and attorney.
Photo: Morning Star News

In February 2021, Salamat Mansha Masih, along with his friend Haroon Ayub Masih, were accused of blasphemy after reading the Bible aloud at a public park located in Lahore and offering a Christian book to a Muslim man. While Haroon and his family escaped by going into hiding, Salamat was detained. (To review a previously posted report on this situation, visit this page.)

Despite the efforts of his lawyer, the chances of Salamat being granted bail for a blasphemy charge were previously considered very slim. However, after having spent more than 18 months in prison, it is now reported that he was granted bail on August 23rd.

In a rare comment, Justice Qazi Faez Isa confronted the complainant's attorney. Quoting Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, the judge declared that people of all faiths are free to worship. He added, "There is already a lot of division in the society in the name of religion. Don't create more." The court further ordered that Salamat be protected until the charges are resolved, for those accused of blasphemy are often in more danger when released from prison due to the violence of angered militant Muslims.

In unrelated cases, two other Christians were released on bail the following day, even though they likewise faced blasphemy charges. In February 2018, Patras Masih allegedly shared a picture on social media that was considered blasphemous. (A previously posted report about his case is available here.) When granting him bail, the judge ruled that the image was not blasphemous and, furthermore, there was no evidence it had been uploaded by Patras. He has been released until the case against him is resolved.

Raja Waris, a lay minister with the Anglican Church, was arrested in December 2021 after sharing a Facebook post. Despite Pastor Raja's apology, hundreds of opposing members of the Muslim community held demonstrations calling for his death (read more). The church leader's lawyer argued on August 24th that, since Pastor Raja was not facing a charge punishable by death, he should be released on bail. The judge accepted the reasonable argument.

Praise God that the judges appointed in these cases have endeavored to rule equitably. We pray with thankfulness for the release of the three men, asking the Lord to provide His divine protection over each one and mediate judicially on their behalf. Pray that these legal matters will soon be rightfully resolved as a result. Also prayerfully remember the many other Christians who continue to languish in Pakistani prisons due to false blasphemy charges, as well as their concerned families. May justice also be upheld in their cases, granting them release from imprisonment, divine protection, and the freedom to worship the Lord without fear or threat of danger.

Current Ministry Projects

VOMC partners to train Christian women in sewing skills throughout Pakistan to provide a sustainable source of income for their families and encourage them in their faith and witness for Christ.

Project Funds: Families of Martyrs, Women’s Ministry

Country Information

Population
238,181,034 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Punjabi (44.7), Pashtun [Pathan] (15.4), Sindhi (14.1), Saraiki (8.4) Muhajirs (7.6) Balochi (3.6), Other (6.3)

Religion (%)
Islam (96.5), Other - Christian and Hindu (3.5)

Leader
President Arif Alvi (2018)

Government type
Federal parliamentary republic

Legal system
Common law system with Islamic law influence

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Pakistan

Pray that amendments will be made to Pakistan's existing blasphemy laws so that the country's citizens – including its children – will be protected from injustice and abuse. May our Lord's mercy and justice prevail, not only in the judiciary system but also in the hearts of the country's militants. Ask Him to transform their "hearts of stone" into hearts that are receptive to His love, mercy and the workings of His Holy Spirit – not only for the purpose of protecting the Christian minority but also for the salvation of their own eternal souls.

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