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Pakistan: Christian sentenced to death for blasphemy after refusing request to convert to Islam

Persecution of Christians in Pakistan: the bitter irony of this is that in Pakistan and elsewhere, converts to Christianity are singled out for particular torment, as they are considered to be a threat to the unity of society. Asif Pervaiz, however, is facing the death penalty today for refusing to renounce Christianity. If he had renounced his faith, his troubles would be over, and he wouldn’t even face discrimination or other difficulties any longer. As the Lord Jesus said, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.” (John 15:18)

The Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, continues to call for international attention to the ever-worsening plight of Christians in Pakistan.

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

“Christian is sentenced to death in Pakistan after being accused of ‘blasphemy’ when he refused his employer’s request to convert to Islam,” by Jack Newman, Mailonline, September 8, 2020:

A Christian man has been sentenced to death in Pakistan for sending ‘blasphemous’ texts to a former supervisor at work.

Asif Pervaiz, 37, has been in custody since 2013 for allegedly insulting Islam and was found guilty in Lahore on Tuesday but denies any wrongdoing.

He claims after quitting his job at a hosiery factory, his supervisor Muhammad Saeed Khokher tried to convert him to Islam.

But Asif says when he refused to change his beliefs, he was then accused of having sent blasphemous texts about Islam to his boss.

Asif’s lawyer Saif-ul-Malook told Al Jazeera: ‘The complainant was a supervisor in a hosiery factory where Asif was working under him.

‘He denied the allegations and said that this man was trying to get him to convert to Islam.’

The lawyer added Asif would appeal his sentence of a three-year prison term and a fine of 50,000 Pakistani rupees ($300) for ‘misusing’ his phone to send the derogatory text message.

The court order said Asif would be ‘hanged by his neck till his death’ after serving the jail time.

Asif spoke in his own defence during the trial, saying he was confronted by his boss after he quit the factory job.

But Khokher denies wanting to convert his Christian colleague, according to his lawyer, Ghulam Mustafa Chaudhry.

He said: ‘He has taken this defence after the fact, because he had no other clear defence. That’s why he accused him of trying to convert him.’

Chaudhry added that other Christians work at the factory and none have accused Khokher of trying to convert them to Islam.

Pakistan has strict blasphemy laws which carry a death penalty for people who insult the Prophet Muhammad, Islam, the Quran or certain holy people.

There are at least 80 people in prison in Pakistan accused of blasphemy, with half facing life sentences or the death penalty, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom found….

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