Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Pakistan: Updates on Recent Stories

 By Timothy Gamble

We have updates on two recent new stories out of Pakistan, and it is (possibly) good news. 

On October 2, I ran the story on the 22 year old Christian woman who escaped her abductor after three months in captivity. Her abductor had kidnapped her at gunpoint, and attempted to force her to convert to Islam and marry him. The identity of the abductor is known, as the kidnapping took place in public during daylight hours with many witnesses. It took repeated complaints by her parents, but a local court has finally issued an arrest warrant for her abductor. The arrest warrant has not yet been served. 

An estimated 1,000 Pakistani women and girls from religious minorities are abducted and forced into conversions and marriage each year. Pakistan's Islamic government and legal system often ignores, and at times even supports, this situation.

On September 8, I ran a story on a Christian man sentenced to death for alleged blasphemous text messages. His conviction has now been overturned by a higher court, citing a lack of evidence, and the court has ordered his release. This may end a seven-year legal ordeal, during which the defendant was in prison. It is possible that the prosecution could appeal this court's decision. 

According to International Christian Concern, 25 Christian are currently imprisoned on blasphemy charges in Pakistan. Blasphemy convictions in Pakistan carry a possible death penalty.

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