A young Pakistani Christian boy has been forced to flee his home after Muslim neighbors accused him of blasphemy against Islam.
ChristianToday.com reports that Imran was accused by Muslim colleagues of watching an anti-Islamic video on his phone.
The Center for Legal Aid, Assistance, and Settlement (CLAAS), an organization that helps persecuted Christians in Pakistan, has said that Imran’s Muslim coworkers purposefully stole his phone and looked up the videos in order to accuse him of blasphemy.
The antagonistic Muslims beat Imran and locked him up, but members of the local Catholic church were able to release him.
He has now fled his village in Punjab, Pakistan because authorities placed a $10,000 bounty, called a fatwa, on his head.
Members of Imran’s village were also told that they must convert to Islam, leave the village forever, or hand Imran over to be killed. In addition, Muslims were encouraged to boycott all Christian establishments.
"I cannot believe that such things are still happening in this world. Such treatment towards Pakistani Christians is a slap on the face of the Punjab and central government, and to all those who never tire of telling the world that minorities are protected and enjoying equal rights in the country,” stated Nasir Saeed, direction of CLAAS UK.
"I don't understand how watching a video on the internet can be criminalised as an act of blasphemy. And if this is blasphemy then all those who watch this video or any other videos against Islam have committed blasphemy and everyone should be arrested, charged and punished under the blasphemy law,” he continued.
"Such conditions from lay people make a mockery of the law. The Government of Pakistan must take this matter seriously, provide protection to the local Christians, and those who are breaking the law should be dealt according to the law."
Publication date: May 13, 2016
Veronica Neffinger wrote her first poem at age seven and went on to study English in college, focusing on 18th century literature. When she is not listening to baseball games, enjoying the outdoors, or reading, she can be found mostly in Richmond, VA writing primarily about nature, nostalgia, faith, family, and Jane Austen.