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Pakistan: Christian Accused of Blasphemy for Refusing to Convert

For information about the Orthodox Mission in Pakistan, see here.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in Pakistan, see here.

“Christian in Pakistan Accused of Blasphemy for Refusing to Convert, He Says,” Morning Star News, March 12, 2024:

LAHORE, Pakistan (Christian Daily International–Morning Star News) – A former classmate of an 18-year-old Christian in Pakistan accused him of blasphemy after failing to convert him to Islam, impeding the accused’s college studies and his family’s hopes for a better future, sources said.

Police arrested Ashbeel Ghauri from his home in Attock city, Punjab Province on Wednesday (March 6) after his former classmate, Sheraz Gulistan, accused him of disrespecting Islam during a religious discussion in a WhatsApp group two months ago, said his father, Babar Ghauri.

“We were shocked when the police came to arrest Ashbeel,” Ghauri said. “My son had not shared with us before that Sheraz and some other Muslim classmates had been pressuring him to change his Christian faith.”

A devout Christian passionate about his faith, Ashbeel Ghauri had begun college while his former classmate, Gulistan, entered an Islamic seminary (madrassa), said his father, who belongs to the Presbyterian church. Gulistan and other Muslims had engaged Ashbeel Ghauri in religious discussions on several occasions in a bid to convert him, he said.

His former classmates have implicated him in a false blasphemy case to destroy his educational career and prospects because he refused to renounce his faith in Christ, Babar Ghauri said.

“Ashbeel has categorically denied making any derogatory remarks about Islam,” Babar Ghauri told Christian Daily International-Morning Star News. “He always asked academic questions about the Islamic faith whenever he was forcibly dragged into such conversation. As Christians living in Pakistan, we are all well aware of the sensitivities involving religious discussion, and our children are taught from day one to avoid getting into such arguments.”…

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