Christian Prisoner Set Free in Pakistan Amid Attacks on Christian Communities
Religion TodayReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2013 Apr 11
After years of imprisonment on death row for blasphemy in Pakistan, Younis Masih has been set free by an appeals court, reports the ICC. Media reports differ on the exact circumstances of Younis Masih’s 2005 arrest for allegedly blaspheming Islam’s prophet Muhammad, though sources agree that the conflict spread when Muslim mobs attacked Christian homes in the area. Masih denied that he blasphemed Muhammad, but he was convicted and sentenced to death in 2007. According to World Watch Monitor, Masih’s sentence was appealed, and his attorney presented evidence that the original conviction was based on hearsay. On April 3, an appeals court in Lahore overturned Masih’s death sentence and declared him innocent. Pakistan’s small Christian community is especially vulnerable to blasphemy accusations. Christians make up less than 3 percent of Pakistan’s 180 million people, with less than 1 percent considered evangelical/followers of Christ.