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Pakistan: Christian Man Sentenced to Death

“The statement ‘I follow only Jesus’ was constructed as ‘I refuse to follow Prophet Muhammad’ and qualified as blasphemy.”

Under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws thus understood, any Christian at all could be victimized in this way.

A small number of the Christians in Pakistan are Orthodox. Orthodox Christians in Pakistan are under the spiritual jurisdiction of the Orthodox Metropolitanate of Singapore and South Asia, which comprises all the Orthodox Communities, Parishes, Foundations and Philanthropic Projects in Singapore, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Afghanistan, Brunei, Timor, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, as well as Pakistan.

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

“Christian Man Sentenced to Death In Pakistan, ‘I Don’t Follow Anyone Other Than Jesus,’” by Lauren Koch, God TV, February 10, 2023:

34-year-old Ashfaq Masih was sentenced to death by a court in Lahore for blasphemy.

Originally arrested in 2017, Masih engaged in a verbal confrontation with a customer at his motorbike repair shop who requested his bill be waived on the grounds that he was a religious devotee. Masih refused to waive the bill, stating he believed in Jesus Christ.

“When Ashfaq asked for payment he refused to pay the full amount, saying he was a poor sadhu (religious devotee) and that Ashfaq should honour him.” 

“Jesus is the true prophet” Masih allegedly claimed, leading to the “guilty” verdict of insulting the prophet Mohammed.

The statement “I follow only Jesus” was constructed as “I refuse to follow Prophet Muhammad” and qualified as blasphemy. The Session Court agreed.

Over the course of five years, Masih’s hearings have been repeatedly moved or cancelled. In 2019, due to his mother’s passing, he was allowed to attend her funeral. In an image shared on twitter, Masih embraced his family while still in handcuffs.

Later in 2022, Masih, a husband and father, was sentenced to death by Judge Khalid Wazir….

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