A Christian man sentenced to death, has been acquitted by a Pakistani court, six years after he was charged with blaspheming the Islamic prophet Mohammad.
Last Tuesday, the Lahore High Court acquitted Sawan Masih, a street sweeper from the eastern city of Lahore who was sentenced to death in March 2014 under Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws.
Masih, a father of three, was accused by his Muslim friend, Muhammad Shahid, of insulting the Islamic prophet Mohammad during a conversation in the eastern Lahore city’s Joseph Colony.
The following day, mosques recounted the accusation against Masih over their PA systems, prompting a mob of more than 3,000 Muslims to loot and burn 180 Christian homes, 75 shops, and at least two churches. Amid the violence, Christian families were forced to flee the area.
Masih denied the charges and said the accusations were made due to a property dispute.
Masih was handed over to the police and was later charged under Section 295-C of Pakistan’s Penal Code. He was subsequently sentenced to death under Section 295-C by Judge Chaudhry Ghulam Murtaza, saying he “must be hanged and fined,” in a trial held in the Lahore Camp Jail due to security concerns.
The Lahore High Court decided that the prosecution had failed to establish that Masih had committed blasphemy and acquitted him.
His family is being threatened and is in hiding.
Sources: The New Indian Express, The Christian Post, Church in Chains
- Praise God for answering the prayers of Sawan Masih, his family and people all over the world.
- Pray that Sawan will experience the Lord’s physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. Pray for strength and patience as the family try to overcome and adapt, after being so long apart.
- Pray for the protection of Sawan and his family. Pray too that the Lord will lead them as they consider their future.
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