Trial of Pakistani Christian Girl Accused of Blasphemy Postponed, Persecution Continues in Region
Religion TodayReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2012 Oct 18
The juvenile court hearing of Rimsha Masih, a 14-year-old Christian girl arrested for blasphemy in mid-August and released on bail three weeks later, has been postponed until November 14, Asia News reports. The ruling came after Rimsha's lawyer filed a petition stating that the blasphemy charges were false and baseless, demanding the case be dismissed and Rimsha be released since there was no offense. The lawyer added that the local imam who deliberately desecrated the Quran to frame Rimsha fabricated the story in order to force out minority Christians from their homes and seize their assets, and that if anyone committed blasphemy, it was him, according to the testimony of three witnesses who, however, later retracted. The imam remains free on bail, and his lawyers are trying to delay proceedings. Prosecutors have indicated they are not planning to try him on blasphemy charges, which, critics point out, is an example of how the blasphemy law is used arbitrarily against minorities and adversaries. Meanwhile, persecution targeting Pakistani Christians continues, with attacks on churches in Karachi and Faisalabad over the weekend.