Pakistani Judge Sentences Christian Imprisoned for 10 Years to Death on Blasphemy Charges

The photo shows Rawalpindi, Pakistan, the city in which Bhatti was arrested. (Photo courtesy of Idontknow1213, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0&gt;, via Wikimedia Commons)

A Pakistani Christian has been sentenced to death for blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad. Authorities plan to execute him by hanging in the coming weeks. Zafar Bhatti has languished in prison since his arrest in 2012. His legal defense will appeal the ruling.

In 2017, courts sentenced Bhatti to life in prison. But earlier this month, a judge appealed to a 1991 law prescribing the death penalty for those who blaspheme Muhammad.

A flimsy case

However, Nehemiah with FMI says the case against him doesn’t hold up. “In July 2012, a local Islamic leader filed a complaint in Rawalpindi, saying he had sent messages from an unregistered phone number insulting the Prophet Muhammad’s mother. They tortured him to extract a confession but he insisted on his innocence. No forensic evidence exists for any blasphemy by Bhatti. In fact, every piece of physical and electronic evidence suggests he is innocent.”

Before his arrest, Bhatti led a small ministry, serving those in deep poverty and praying with people in their homes. But these actions caught the attention of local Muslim leaders.

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Kevin Zeller

CALL TO ACTION

  • Ask God to comfort Bhatti, his wife, and extended community.
  • Pray for justice, and the reversal of this ruling.