Thirty-one Pakistanis Falsely Accused of Blasphemy

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

ISLAMABAD (Worthy News)-- International Christian Concern reported Tuesday that 29 Christians and two Muslims have been accused of blasphemy in Chak village, Faisalabad.

The Superintendent of Police charged all 31 under Section 297 of Pakistan's Penal Code: "trespassing on burial places." Twenty of the 29 Christians accused are under arrest while the rest are in hiding.

According ICC sources, Christians had requested a plot of land from a local politician for use as a Christian cemetery. Muhammad Iqbal then granted their request, but as the Christians leveled the ground to prepare it for graves, public announcements coming from local mosques claimed that they had instead bulldozed over the graves of Muslims!

"For years and years, I have not seen any funeral taking place at this location [or] any grave or a single sign of a graveyard in that particular piece of land," Mubarik Masih told ICC.

ICC's Regional Manager for South Asia, William Stark said: "This incident involving Pakistan's controversial blasphemy law should clearly highlight the abuse of the law for the international community. Originally written to protect against religious intolerance, the law has warped into a tool used by extremists and others to settle personal scores and persecute Pakistan's vulnerable religious minorities. In 2013 alone, thirty-six individuals were accused of blasphemy in Pakistan. Of that thirty-six, thirty were religious minorities and twelve of those were Christians. Given that Christians only make up two percent of Pakistan's population, the fact that one-third of blasphemy accusations made in 2013 were leveled against Christians should be seen as highly disturbing. Beyond being disproportionately accused and convicted of blasphemy, the vast majority of blasphemy accusations brought against Christians are false, like the accusations leveled in this particular incident."