SLMP plays positive role in release of blasphemy accused in Pakistan
22 Jan 2009
Lahore: January 22, 2009. Mr. Sohail Johnson, Chief of Sharing Life Ministry Pakistan ALMP, shares good news of release of blasphemy accused by this letter
“We are pleased to inform you that Rashid etc all blasphemy accused persons have been acquitted today on 19th January 2009. The session judge made an announcement that Rashid, Salamat, Tanveer and Bao are acquitted from the charge. They all would be released from district jail Toba Tak Singh this evening, by the grace of God”
It is the greatest achievement of Sharing Life Ministry Pakistan and other organization those who were struggling to set them free from the charge. It is an answer of earnest prayers of all prayer partners and friends.
It has become first case in history that blasphemy accused persons have been acquitted with the mutual understanding of complainant and witnesses. SLMP worked a lot to make reconciliation with Muslim clergymen. Although we have strong faith that our God can make possible the impossible things, but victory in this case has its own specialty for God’s miraculous work.
There was a blasphemy trial pending in District courts Toba Tak Singh. The case was registered under blasphemy law on 1st April 2007 against Rashid son of Slamat, his father Slamat, Bao Masih and Tanveer Masih, vide FIR # 126 dated 1-04-07 offence under sections 149, 148, 295-A&C with police station City Toba Tak Singh
On 1st April 2007 at about 11:00am one of the accused person Rashid’s younger brother named Danyal was playing in the street. A Muslim guy named Sunny along with his friend came there asked Danyal to play with him. A quarrel arose between children on Danyal’s denial. The Muslim guy was having a striker on his shirt containing words “Yah Rasool Allah” (Mohammad the Prophet of God). During scuffle the sticker fell down in the street. That was “Eid Millad al Nabi” Mohammad’s birthday on the day of occurrence and many Muslims were gathered to celebrate the event. One Mohammad Faisal saw the sticker. He accused of Christian children for insulting name of Mohammad. Afterwards elders of Christian children step in and situation became worst. At the end Muslims attacked on Christians and to satisfy angry Muslims, police got case registered against Christians mentioned above.
Many Muslim groups attacked on Christian colony Toba Tak Singh and tortured Christians after the case. A local named Ratan Masih and some other Christians got severe injuries, many Christian families left their houses to save their lives.
Salamat Masih was arrested on the day of occurrence on 1st April 2007, while Tanveer and Bao were arrested after few months of the occurrence.
SLMP team managed to rescue an underage accused person of the case named Rashid Masih son of Slamat. He took refuge with SLMP for about 20 months at SLMP, but unfortunately in November 2008 he went to see his family at Toba Tak Singh and got arrested by local police and sent into the jail on
During Rashid’s stay with SLMP, we provide Rashid with a rickshaw to set his own business and to support his family. Our pastor has been visiting his family for prayer as well.
During detention of all the accused persons in this case, SLMP provided them with financial, moral and spiritual help.
SLMP team has been deeply concerned about the legal proceedings of the case. God sent His heavenly wisdom to SLMP team to meet with Muslim clergymen of the area for negotiation. Chief Coordinator has been meeting with Muslim religious and political leaders in this regard and with constant meeting with locals team succeeded to make them ready for reconciliation. No doubt this was greatest success in the name of Christ.
his case became more important because it was going to be first case in history of this blasphemy law in Pakistan that accused persons will get release on reconciliation basis.
Mr. Sohail Johnson made clergymen agree to issue a FATWA letter declaring the accused persons innocent. After struggles of days and nights, at last we succeeded to have FATWA letter from Muslim clergymen.
In the mean time SLMP team has been sending many prayer requests for release of Rashid and others. Team has been visiting Rashid’s and Tanveer’s families to encourage them in Christian faith.
The letter was produced in the court of Jalal-ud-Din additional session judge Toba Tak Singh, who also recorded the statements of prosecution witnesses in the month of December 2008. On January 3, 2009, the judge transferred to another district and new judge named as Slah_ud-Din took charge of the court. The new judge recalled all the witnesses and the complainant of the case and recorded their statements on 13th January 2009. It is also pertinent to mention here that all the witnesses and complainant of the case has given their statements on stamp papers in the court. In which they simply said they don’t want to give their statement as prosecution witness and they have no objection if court will acquit the accused persons. On 18th January 2009 the Judge heard the final arguments of defense lawyer and finally he announced his judgment on 19th January 2009. He acquitted all the accused persons from the charge.
Tanveer’s father and Rashid’s mother suffered a lot in all these circumstances but we are thankful to God for their strong faith in Jesus Christ and God almighty.
SLMP has called Rashid and others to SLMP office on 24th January 2009. Hopefully they will come and we will send another report on their situation in the jail.