The dominance of Islam in Pakistan’s society and government ensures that Christians are easily persecuted by exempting them from legal protections.
On the day of his son’s funeral, a mentally ill Christian man in Pakistan was accused of blaspheming Islam and put into prison. Iqbal Masih, 65, a father of nine, is from the Fazlia Colony of Lahore, a Christian neighborhood of around 1,000 residents, according to World Watch Monitor. He is known to suffer from long-term mental illness for which he takes medication. A family relative told reporters that Muslim neighbors were angered by comments uttered by a distraught Masih following the sudden death of his son. “Some of them wanted to set him on fire, but other sensible people suggested that Masih be handed over to the police as he was experiencing a mental health crisis” the relative shared.
On paper, the Pakistani Penal Code offers exemption for those who “by reason of unsoundness of mind, [are] incapable of knowing the nature of the act, or that [they are] doing what is either wrong or contrary to law.” This means of legal protection will likely not be offered to Masih as a Christian, since time and time again authorities have used trumped-up blasphemy charges to silence Christians in Pakistan. Pray for great endurance for Christians in Pakistan as they look to Christ who is for us (Psalm 56:9) and for whom nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37).
“For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”
— 2 Cor. 1:5
1/17— Pray for spiritual encouragement, assurance and provision of physical needs for Masih’s wife and children during his imprisonment in Pakistan.
1/18 — Pray for a merciful judge to rule Masih innocent in this blasphemy case and pray for an overturning of the blasphemy laws used to target Christians in Pakistan.
1/19 — Ask God to protect the Christians in Pakistan with His shield of faith from the fiery darts of Satan.
1/20 — Pray for the witness of Pakistani believers to light the way for their persecutors to repent of their sin and receive Christ as their Savior.
1/21 — Ask God to enable Christians in Pakistan to avoid bitterness and rest in the joy of their salvation.
1/22 — Pray for the growth and protection of the Body of Christ in Pakistan, and for believers around the globe to faithfully intercede on their behalf.
1/23 — Pray for the immense comfort of the Lord’s presence to rest on the Masih home through the trial and grief of losing a son and the imprisonment of a father.
1/24 — Pray for the way God is using the grief of persecution endured by Christians in Pakistan for His glory and to bring many sons and daughters into an everlasting kingdom!