Date: June 3, 2023
‘You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good…’ (Genesis 50:20a)
At this point in the story, Joseph is able to look back and see how God used a terrible situation – even being sold into slavery by his own brothers – and turned it into something good.
Today we pray for justice for two Christian teenagers in Pakistan, who have been falsely accused of blasphemy. More than this, we pray that God will take what was meant to harm them, and transform it for good – perhaps by opening up a wider conversation about the catastrophic misuse of blasphemy laws, and how they must be reformed.
Pray for Adil Babar and Simon Nadeem
Adil is 18 years old, while his neighbour Simon is even younger; between 12 to 15 years old, according to different sources. They live in the Qurban Lines area of Lahore, which is home to approximately 50 Christian families.
On 18 May a police constable, Zahid Sohail, filed a complaint claiming that he heard the teenagers insulting the Prophet Mohammed while playing in the street. When the neighbourhood elders questioned the officer, he was unable to provide any evidence to support his complaint. Yet local police arrested Adil and Simon later that day.
Adil’s father also disputes the accusation of blasphemy. He says he woke to find Constable Sohail fighting with Simon, while Adil tried to intervene. This case is particularly concerning, given that Simon is a minor.
A weapon of revenge
Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws are poorly defined and require low standards for evidence. They are regularly used as a weapon of revenge against both Muslims and non-Muslims, for example to settle personal disputes.
In summary, please pray:
- That the false charges against Adil and Simon would be dropped, and that they would experience no lasting consequences from this injustice at such a young age.
- For the release of all those imprisoned or detained in Pakistan on similar false charges.
- For the safety of Christian families in the Qurban Lines area, most of whom fled after the accusation was made, for fear of violence.
- For an urgent review of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, which became even more stringent this year. Pray that one day they would be repealed, as they are wholly incompatible with the right to freedom of religion or belief.