Boy branded a blasphemer needs out of Pakistan

Thursday, March 4, 2021
 | 
Charlie Butts (OneNewsNow.com)

anti-Christian mob violenceThough a jailed Pakistani Christian may soon enjoy freedom, a spokesman for a Christian organization that advocates for religious minorities says the boy's concerns are far from over.

When he was 16, Nabeel Masih was convicted of blasphemy over a Facebook post that his accuser said "defamed and disrespected" the Kaaba in Mecca. His timeline post was a picture of a pig, which are offensive to Muslims, on the Kaaba.

A court has granted Masih, who is now 20 years old, bail pending further court proceedings. But as William Stark of International Christian Concern (ICC) tells One News Now, such cases rarely make it to trial.

"In July 2010, Rashid Emmanuel and his brother, Sajid Emmanuel, they were accused of blasphemy, were in court in Faisalabad, and as they were being transferred away from their hearing, they were shot and killed by a man who said he killed the blasphemers," Stark tells as an example.

Then in 2014, a mob beat to death a Christian couple accused of desecrating the Koran.

"Since 1990, over 60 individuals have been murdered extra-judicially because of blasphemy accusations, so the security concerns are very, very real," Stark continues. "If [Nabeel Masih's] granted bail, and if he is eventually acquitted, the next step for him and his family likely is to find a safer country to go to."

Noting the case of Asia Bibi, who was on death row for nine years before her conviction was overturned, the ICC spokesman asserts that living in Pakistan can be difficult and dangerous for anyone accused of blasphemy. Asia Bibi was in hiding for some time before she was able to leave for Canada.

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