A persecution watchdog is voicing profound concern about a Pakistani man who was reportedly given the death penalty for blasphemy.
Listen to the latest episode of CBN’s Quick Start podcast
David Curry, CEO of Global Christian Relief, told CBN’s Faithwire, “Pakistan has some of the most difficult and stringent blasphemy laws in the world.”
He described these regulations as “vigilante-type laws” that open the door to false accusations against Christians and other groups, claims that can lead to the death penalty.
“[It] allows anybody to accuse somebody else of blasphemy within the Islamic law,” he said. “And the reason why it’s so problematic is because of the court system and the way these are adjudicated. You have somebody who’s making a claim that, in most cases, can’t be substantiated.”
Beyond that, Curry said the definition of “blasphemy” is overly broad, meaning any offense deemed problematic by the accuser can be brought to the court of law. Being a Christian, alone, can spark problems for some, and false claims are regularly perpetuated.
“Punishment in Pakistan is the death penalty, so there’s no proportionality to a particular situation,” he said. “Anybody can make a charge that can’t be validated.”
Watch Curry explain:
As CBN’s Faithwire previously reported, the most recent case involves Noman Masih, 22, who was recently handed the death penalty by a court in Bahawalpur, Pakistan, after being found guilty of blasphemy.
Problems began for Masih on July 1, 2019, when he was reportedly arrested by police, just days after his cousin, Sunny Waqas, was detained on a blasphemy charge. Waqas was later released on bail, though it’s unclear where his case currently stands.
Masih’s father, Asghar Masih, said the allegations against his son are baseless, and that Noman was sleeping when police allege he was showing blasphemous images of Muhammad, the preeminent Islamic prophet, to people at 3:30 a.m. in a local park.
Lazar Allah Rakha, an attorney for Masih, told Morning Star News the verdict was given without evidence to back the blasphemy charges.
“I’m extremely disappointed by the conviction, because there was absolutely no case,” Rakha said. “There was no proof against Noman, and none of the witnesses produced by police could corroborate the blasphemy allegation against him.”
Curry concurred the evidence seemed questionable, noting “nobody can quite seem to understand what it was he has done.” He called for international pressure to be applied to Pakistan to create an equitable legal situation for everyone, including religious minorities.
In addition to governmental pressure and attention through media for Noman and others like him, Curry encouraged Christians to turn to prayer.
“People want us to pray with them because they’re in prayer over this,” he said. “We’re walking alongside them. There is a supernatural component.”
Curry added, “I pray always that people would be surrounded by those that love and support them. I think that’s really important.”
Read more about Noman’s tragic story here.
***As the number of voices facing big-tech censorship continues to grow, please sign up for Faithwire’s daily newsletter and download the CBN News app, developed by our parent company, to stay up-to-date with the latest news from a distinctly Christian perspective.***
Source: Read More