Date: July 3, 2019
Progress appeared to be made last year when Asia Bibi was released from her prison and death sentence over convicted blasphemy in Pakistan, yet no sooner was Bibi released than another Christian woman, Shagufta Kausar, was imprisoned and sentenced to death alongside her husband Shafqat Emmanuel in 2014 for supposedly sending a blasphemous text in English regarding the Muslim faith, despite that both individuals are illiterate and therefore unable to perpetrate this supposed crime.
"Many individuals who are accused of blasphemy . . . are detained with little to no evidence of their guilt, and more often than not, they receive death sentences from lower courts."
Blasphemy laws, along with bonded labor, are the most common forms of persecution against Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan. Many individuals who are accused of blasphemy, according to Open Doors Analytical, are detained with little to no evidence of their guilt, and more often than not, they receive death sentences from lower courts.
Both husband and wife are suffering greatly in prison. Shagufta faces decreasing mental and physical function, and her husband is paralyzed from the waist down. Shagufta’s brother, Paul, has since left Pakistan and sought refuge using a Dutch residence permit after he received an identical threat of incarceration by the Pakistani police who unjustly sentenced his sister.
Saif-ul Malook, the lawyer who worked to successfully release Asia Bibi, was confirmed to have taken up this case with the hope of similar results.
Jubilee Campaign has worked closely with Shagufta’s brother and his wife to find a reputable lawyer and ensure proper representation, as well plan family visits and provide schooling to the four children of Shagufta and Shafqat. Jubilee is also providing financial aid to this case to pay for the costs of the lawyer, schoolings, and visits.
- Pray that the Pakistani government would abolish Blasphemy Laws that target minority religions.
- Pray for Shagufta Kausar and Shafqat Emmanuel to be free from prison.
- Pray for Christians in Pakistan that are persecuted for their faith.