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Pakistan: Court denies bail to Christian imprisoned for two years on false blasphemy accusations

Pakistan is home to over two million Christians. All are at risk at all times of being victimized, as Anwar Masih has been, by false blasphemy accusations.

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

“Imprisoned in Lahore on blasphemy charges, Christian man’s ordeal continues,” by Shafique Khokhar, Asia News, September 10, 2022:

Lahore (AsiaNews) – The ordeal of Anwar Masih continues. The 57-year-old Christian has been held in prison for more than two years for what his family and human rights advocates believe are false accusations of blasphemy.

His latest attempt to get bail was turned down by a local court. The case arose after his daughter, Samreen Bibi, married a Muslim in 2017 and converted to Islam. Soon after, the defendant’s wife, Kousar Parveen, also converted to Islam.

To heal frictions created in the family by the situation, Kousar turned to the local police. Instead of mediating, law enforcement accused Anwar of mistreating his wife and daughter for their decision to convert.

On 2 June 2020, he was arrested for allegedly defaming the Prophet Muhammad, a criminal offence in Pakistan.

Imran Masih, one of Anwar’s sons, told AsiaNews that his brothers and sisters have come under pressure to become Muslims to prove that their family is not against Islam, adding that he and his family have received death threats and that they have been forced to live in hiding.

In fact, his family’s Christian faith is strong, he explains, and that they are ready to offer their lives to remain faithful to God….

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