by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - An evangelist in Pakistan has been jailed, and her family forced into hiding, after members of the Islam-based religious group Ahmadiyya joined with Muslim extremists to bring blasphemy charges against her for sharing the Gospel in an interfaith WhatsApp group, Morning Star News reports.
A 35-year-old Christian preacher, wife, and mother from Islamabad, Shagufta Kiran was arrested by Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) agents following a raid on her house on July 29, MSN said. Kiran’s husband and two young sons were also taken into custody but were subsequently released: they have since gone into hiding. Kiran, however, is imprisoned in Central Jail Adiala, Rawalpindi.
Charges were brought against Kiran by three men who belong to the Ahmadiyya religion, who were admins on a WhatsApp group called Pure Discussions; Kiran had been sharing the Gospel in the group, MSN said. Although Muslims consider the Ahmadiyya belief system to be heretical, the religion is rooted in Islam, and the WhatsApp admins were offended by the Gospel on behalf of Muhammad.
Notably, the Ahmadis joined with Muslim extremists in arranging for Karin to be charged with insulting Islam (Section 295-A of Pakistan’s blasphemy statutes, punishable by up to 10 years in prison) and insulting Muhammad (295-C, carrying the death penalty) among other charges, MSN reports.
According to rights groups and local clergy, blasphemy laws are abused in Pakistan to persecute and imprison Christians. Successive governments have been aware of the abuses but have done little to stop them, MSN said.
Pakistan ranks 5 on the US Open Doors Watch List 2021 of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted.