Bail petitioned for Christian accused of blasphemy

Thursday, April 18, 2013

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

pakistan-map2LAHORE, PAKISTAN (Worthy News)-- The Legal Evangelical Association (for) Development (LEAD) filed a bail petition Monday in the Session Court of Lahore on behalf of Sawan Masih, an imprisoned Pakistani Christian accused of blasphemy.

A 35-year-old street sweeper, Masih -- accused of blasphemy by a former friend -- was booked under statue 295 of the Pakistan Penal Code, which prohibits blasphemy against any recognized religion, although in practice the only religion officially recognized in Pakistan is Islam.

Masih is facing 295 Section C, which forbids any defaming of Muhammad regardless of the accused's intent; defaming Muhammad merits a death sentence with, or without a fine after a conviction in a Court of Session that must be presided over by a Muslim judge.

Although there was nothing pertaining to section 295 C in the original First Information Report, a second report to the SP Investigation City Division by Complainant Shahid Imram stated that Sawan said, "Our Jesus will come back again and must come back and He is the Son of God" as well as alleged derogatory remarks about Islam's prophet, according to the Pakistan Christian Post.

Masih's alleged remarks resulted in two separate attacks against Lahore's St. Joseph Colony last March as Muslim mobs rampaged through the Christian neighborhood, burning and looting everything in sight in search of the accused blasphemer while Paki Police stood idly by.

LEAD is a Christian relief and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice; LEAD is motivated by God's grace to serve all peoples regardless of race, religion, gender or ethnicity.