Ashfaq Masih was accused of blasphemy in 2017 after allegedly saying that Jesus Christ was the only true prophet.
In court, he said he was innocent of the charges and that the case against him was “baseless, false and frivolous”. He also claimed that the accusation was made by a rival in an attempt to destroy his motorbike repair business and have him evicted from the property.
The accusation of blasphemy was made a few days after a dispute involving a Muslim customer who refused to pay his bill.
“I insisted for my bill and said that I don’t follow anyone other than Jesus, and so wasn’t interested in the man’s religious status,” said Masih.
The police registered a first information report under section 295C of the Pakistan Penal Code which imposes a mandatory death penalty for blasphemy.
He was sentenced to death by the Pakistani Session Court on 4 July.
His older brother, Mehmood Masih, said the judgment reduced the whole family to tears and that it feels like “the end of the world” for them.
This is the second time in the space of a month that a death sentence has been handed down for blasphemy. On 11 June, two Christian brothers, Amoon and Qaiser Ayub, were also given the death penalty.
Sources: Christian Today, News Track, CLAAS-UK
- Pray the Lord will comfort Ashfaq and his family as they come to terms with this result. Pray Ashfaq, Amoon and Qaiser may know of the Lord’s ministering presence and protection.
- Ask the Lord for justice on behalf of Ashfaq and others in Pakistan who are speaking out against the misuse of blasphemy laws.
- Pray for the church in Pakistan; may the believers be strengthened in their faith, even as they face opposition. Pray the church will be unified and strong.