Christians and Muslims in Pakistan have united together to get blasphemy charges dropped against a nine-year-old Pakistani Christian boy.
The boy, Izhan and his mother, Shakil, a nurse from Quetta, were accused six days ago of burning pages of the Quran. The police were called in and both the mother and child were imprisoned.
This led to protests by local Christian and Muslim leaders, as well as politicians, and the charges were subsequently dropped.
Asiya Nasir, a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan from Quetta, William John Barkat, a member of the Provincial Assembly and Shahzad Kundan, an activist and resident of the area, cooperated together to secure justice for the two accused.
According to the Pakistan Christian Post, they were alerted to the case and the “sense of horror and terror” in the Christian community.
“There was so much sense of insecurity in the Christians until the matter was resolved,” the Post reported. “Credit goes to the local leadership of Jamiat Ulema Islam [the Assembly of Islamic Clergy] which played a tremendous role.”
Nasir Saeed, director of CLAAS-UK, a Christian charity dedicated to helping persecuted Christians in Pakistan, said this was not the first time a child had been charged with a blasphemy offence.
Mr Saeed said: “He [Izhan] may have never have even heard the word of blasphemy. Unfortunately, this is the worst example of hatred and intolerance against Christians and treatment towards them in Pakistan.
“The Government of Pakistan must look into such cases and take appropriate steps to bring necessary changes to stop the ongoing misuse of this law.”
- Give thanks for the release and the dropping of blasphemy charges against this mother and her son, and for the cooperation between Christians and Muslims to bring this about.
- Pray for other Pakistani Christians currently in jail on blasphemy charges, with some face the prospect of the death sentence. Pray for peace to surround them and their families, and for charges to be dropped and these bevellers released from prison.
- Pray for the government of Pakistan to look seriously at the blasphemy laws and take all steps needed to prevent the continued misuse of the laws to persecute Christians.
- Pray for greater understanding between Christians and Muslims in Pakistan, and for freedom for Christians to live and worship without fear in this country. Pray too that many Muslims will encounter Christ Jesus and come to know Him as Saviour and Lord.
Ephesians 6 vs 12: “ For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. “