CHRISTIANITY DAILY

Blasphemy Charges Against Two Christian Families in Pakistan Dropped After Prominent Religious Leaders Intervene

Two blasphemy charges against Pakistani Christians were dropped last month, World Watch Monitor reported.

The two incidents were unrelated and were reported from localities hundreds of miles away from each other, and both involved allegations of burning of Muslim religious text.

These cases were resolved when prominent religious leaders intervened and came to the help of the victims of the false blasphemy accusations.

On October 20, a six-year-old boy and his mother were suspected of desecrating religious papers from Hajj, after those papers were found outside their apartment in Quetta. Ayan Masih and Shakeela who works as a nurse in city Civil Hospital were detained, and underwent thorough investigation. They were later released after intervention by local religious clerics.

On October 28, about a thousand miles away from Quetta, torn and burned pages of Quran were found in courtyard of an abandoned home adjacent to a Christian worker's house in Sheikhupura.

Parvaiz Masih told World Watch Monitor that his wife Azra Bibi returned home after her duty shift as a cleaner at a maternity hospital around 1:30 pm and noted smoke coming out of their neighbor's vacant house.

The owners of the house Anwar Khan Lodhi and Irfan Khan Lodhi use it as a storeroom, while they live nearby.

The police said that the Quran was found in the washroom of the storeroom.

When a mob gathered around the house, a cleric suggested that the Christian family could be investigated for the crime.

The Lodhis, however, said that the Christian family would never be involved in such an act and they had been living in the area for the last 40 years. At that time, no one in the mob accused them.

However, two days later Masih received a call summoning them to the police station. He said that he was not present at the scene when the crime happened, which can also be verified through the security cameras at the bank where he works as a cleaner.

His wife asked her employer to check with the police station if a complaint had been registered against them. Her employer told her that the complaint was registered against unknown people and not against them.

Another local meeting was conveyed to find out who could be responsible for the act, in which one Muslim family assured the public of their trust in their Christian neighbors. A local lawyer Abu Obaid also stood behind the family, and said that if it was ever proved that Masih's family were guilty, he would deem himself liable to be accused of the crime.

Masih's family is also involved in an ownership dispute with owners of the house.

Tags World Watch Monitor, Pakistan blasphemy laws

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