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PAKISTAN: Villagers Beaten in Hunt for ‘Blasphemer’

Please pray for our Christian family in Punjab after police detained a believer accused of blasphemy by business rivals and beat local Christians in their search for him.

Allegations against Pervaiz Masih, 35, arose one morning in early September after he won a contract to supply sand in Garra village, Kasur district. Hundreds of Muslims took to the streets and threatened to burn him alive. Pervaiz and his wife’s main income comes from working in a brick kiln.

When Pervaiz went into hiding, police raided several Christian homes to try to find him. They beat and insulted local Christians, including a pregnant woman and another with a newborn baby; police also detained two of Pervaiz’s brothers temporarily. Pervaiz later surrendered himself to police and is now being held in the district jail.

Police have reportedly said that Pervaiz has confessed to the charges against him but local Christians insist the allegations are false and his ‘confession’ has been extracted under duress. His family has had to flee Garra. His wife says she fears for her life, citing the murder of brick kiln workers Shahzad and Shama Masih last year.

Source: Release International

Prayer Points

• Please ask God to protect Pervaiz and his family; pray justice will prevail. Pray too for the 15-20 Christian families in Garra village, most of whom are poor farm labourers.
• Please pray that action will be taken to ensure that Punjab police uphold the rights of all citizens, including minority Christians.
• Pray that the local Christians will not lose heart but, instead, may the Lord use the opposition they face as an opportunity to strengthen faith and grow His church.

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