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Pakistan is set to introduce new legislation to curb the misuse of the country’s notorious blasphemy laws. Human rights observers have documented the widespread abuse of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, which are often used to settle personal scores, eliminate rivals, or persecute religious minorities.

Section 295 A – C of the country’s penal code make it illegal to incite individuals’ religious sentiments as well as specifically punishing the desecration of the Koran and defaming the prophet Mohammed. Punishment under these laws can be as severe as life imprisonment or execution by the state.

The proposed legislation would combat mob violence and extra-judicial killings by declaring the state as the only body responsible for punishing individuals found guilty of blasphemy. It would also introduce harsh penalties for individuals who file false accusations of blasphemy.

Finally, the legislation would introduce a mental element to the crime. Prosecutors would be required to show an individual had deliberate intention to blaspheme in order to find that individual guilty under the law.

Source: International Christian Concern

Prayer Points

• Praise God that Pakistan’s government is taking the first steps towards necessary reform.
• Pray that the new legislation will be approved and implemented to curb the misuse of the blasphemy laws in Pakistan.
• Pray for four Christians who are on death row for being found guilty of blasphemy.

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