Pakistan (MNN) — Freedoms of speech and thought are severely restricted in Pakistan. FMI’s Nehemiah says, “In Pakistan, no one dares to insult Muhammad, Koran, or Allah because they know the repercussions.”

Pakistan’s infamous blasphemy law is a source of contention for human rights advocates.

“This law says that any insulting remarks in respect of the Prophet Muhammad, Quran, or Allah, either spoken or written or by visible representation directly or indirectly, shall be punished with death,” Nehemiah says.

“I call this law a Black Law because [it] does not require any evidence [or] witnesses.”

More often than not, blasphemy accusations lead to vigilante justice. Even if there’s no proof to support accusations, angry mobs feel emboldened by the blasphemy law to right any alleged wrongs.

“Over 100 people have been murdered in relation to blasphemy allegations since 1990, and over 700 people are in different jails of Pakistan without any trial,” Nehemiah says.

Last year, hundreds of people stormed a mostly Christian neighborhood in Pakistan’s third-largest city, burning homes and churches after a Muslim extremist group accused believers of blasphemy.

As a growing religious minority, Christians frequently become the target of blasphemy violence. “While I’m talking to you right now, a Christian man is being murdered in Baluchistan, in Kota,” Nehemiah says.

“They simply pick a random Christian man and kill that person in the street of Pakistan.”

FMI-supported church planters boldly proclaim the Gospel in this context. More about that here.

“Pray for safety and wisdom,” Nehemiah requests, “and of course, we need to support them so they can continue the ministry in Pakistan.”


Header image depicts the 2016 funeral procession of a young Christian man killed by a mob after he was accused of blasphemy. (Photo courtesy of FMI)