When posts are viewed on social media, few people think about the legal consequences of sharing them.
In 2018, Hamid (surname withheld for security reasons) shared a cartoon he had received on Facebook and thought nothing more of it. He was contacted by police about it at the time, but the case was dropped – until officials showed up at his door three years later. By the next day, the 43-year-old poultry farmer had been sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for allegedly insulting Mohammed.
Sources: Morning Star News, VOM Canada contacts
Hamid is a father of four, with the eldest being six years old. He is a simple labourer who can barely read or write. One of his children is seriously ill and his wife is distraught over his arrest. When Hamid was taken for a hearing on 21 January, he believed the matter would be dropped again and agreed to appear before the judge that afternoon.
However, during the meeting he was quickly convicted and sentenced. His lawyer believes that there is a good chance they can get the sentence reduced on appeal.
Let us pray.
- Ask the Lord to grant Hamid His strength and protection. Pray he and his family will receive much love, care and support from other believers.
- Pray that the appeals process will proceed quickly and the case will soon be soon resolved favourably.
- Remember in prayer the various legal cases presently taking place against Christians in Algeria, including those relating to the country’s mandated church closures. Pray the churches will be a light to the many Algerian’s suffering from the consequences of the pandemic.