Mashal Khan’s lynching is a ‘wake-up call’ for Pakistani Christians: FMI

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Mashal Khan’s lynching is a wakeup call for believers says Forgotten Missionaries International (FMI). Christians must lift up the situation in prayers in the midst of increasing persecution. “Once an allegation of blasphemy is leveled against anyone—whether it’s another Muslim, whether is a Christian or someone else from a minority religion—their life is basically forfeit,” FMI’s Bruce Allen explained.

Blasphemy law in Pakistan

Seeing increased incidents of people lynched by mobs on the pretext of blasphemy accusations, FMI has urged the church to pray for Christians in Pakistan as they face potential threats if being embroiled in the blasphemy cases. “Their religious views alone, along with many other religious minorities, are enough to condemn them of blasphemy,” FMI maintains. Pakistan currently ranks fourth among worst countries for Christians, based upon religion based persecution.

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Bruce Allen further remarked about the threats to lives of people accused of blasphemy said: “Whether they spend the rest of their life in jail, or, their case never even gets to trial because people try and seek their own form of justice and often it is so skewed.” A prominent example of this is Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi, who is behind the bars since 2009. Asia Bibi is on death row, while she awaits her appeal case to be heard by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Followed by heinous killing of a university student over blasphemy accusations, mob justice has become a serious concern. “Hundreds to thousands of students participated in the riot. In fact, police were tipped off that this was going to occur and they had 20 officers on the site who stood by and did nothing,” Bruce Allen said.

While condemning the incident, Pakistani politician Senator Farhatullah Babar stated that a religious scholar has already proposed that those who level false blasphemy accusations against others must themselves suffer the same sentence as provided for a blasphemer. “The assassination of Mashal Khan should make us think about concrete measures to prevent the misuse of the blasphemy law; we need to revisit this law,” he stated.

On the other hand, Pakistan’s National Assembly unanimously passed a resolution in the wake of Mashal Khan’s cold blooded murder. “This House unanimously condemns the barbaric and cold-blooded murder of Mashal Khan and resolves to ensure that strong safeguards may be inserted into the blasphemy law to prevent its abuse through such atrocities in the future, including by mobs involved in such crimes,” the resolution said. Rana Tanveer, Federal Minister for Defence Production presented this resolution.