Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Tuesday 19 January |
Saint of the Day: St. Branwalator of Jersey
home iconNews
line break icon

Christian Couple Charged with Blasphemy in Pakistan

UN Photo/Eric Kanalstein

UCAnews - published on 07/25/13

Just last week, another Christian man was sentenced to life in prison and fined $2000 for defaming Islam.

Police in Gojra, Punjab province in Pakistan, have charged a Christian couple with blasphemy. This comes a week after a Christian man was sentenced to life in prison in the same town after being found guilty of defaming the Prophet Mohammed.

Shafgat Masih, who is handicapped, and his wife Shagufta Kosar, a maid at a school, were detained on Saturday and charged with sending text messages containing blasphemous content, a police officer said on the condition of anonymity. Following a court hearing on Monday they were held in jail.

“The couple is under arrest and an investigation is being carried out by the police,” the officer added.

The arrest was made on the complaint of local Muslim cleric Maulana Muhammad Hussain Atari, who claimed he received a text message that contained derogatory remarks against the Prophet Mohammed, according to police.

Other people also reported receiving blasphemous texts from Kosar’s phone, Pakistan Today reported, and Masih has “admitted” sending the texts.

Police raided the couple’s house, seized their mobile phone and moved them to an undisclosed location.

In last week’s case Sajjad Masih (no relation), a Christian also from Gojra, was sentenced to life in prison and fined US$2,000 after sending a text message to a Muslim man defaming Islam in December, 2011.

Relations between minority Christians and Muslims in Gojra became strained in 2009 when a mob set a Christian neighborhood on fire, leaving eight people dead including women and children. Trouble flared again last August when a teenage Christian girl was charged with blasphemy.

Since 1988, more than 1,000 cases have been filed in Pakistan alleging the desecration of the Qu’ran and making derogatory remarks against the Prophet Mohammed, according to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.

Originally published by UCAnews on July 23rd, 2013.

Tags:
PakistanReligious Freedom
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
DAD, HOW DO I?
Cerith Gardiner
Meet the dad who's teaching basic skills on YouTube for kids with...
2
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful 1-minute film about...
3
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
Reasons Catholics should read the Bible
4
SAINT RITA CASCIA
Bret Thoman, OFS
Traces of miracles remain at the birthplace of St. Rita of Cascia
5
POPE JOHN PAUL II
Philip Kosloski
St. John Paul II's formula for defeating evil in the world
6
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
'An American Blessed': A documentary to thank God in 2021
7
FORGIVING COUPLE
Bret Thoman, OFS
An exorcist teaches 4 steps to forgive
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.